Trump orders new policy about military academies, pro sports

President Donald Trump gestures as he walks to Marine One across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, for the short trip to Andrews Air Force Base en route to Japan for the G-20 summit.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has signed a presidential memorandum ordering the Pentagon to develop a new policy to allow athletes attending the nation's military academies to play professional sports immediately after graduating.

The memo says student athletes should be able to defer their military service obligations due to the "short window of time" they have to "take advantage of their athletic talents during which playing professional sports is realistically possible."

Trump's own Defense Department in 2017 rescinded a policy that allowed the best athletes from the military's service academies to go straight to the pros upon graduation instead of having to first serve on active duty.

That meant they had to serve two years of active duty before applying for reserve status to pursue a career in professional sports.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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