POTUS announces military ban on transgender people

07/26/2017 11:16 AM

Update Thursday, July 27 12:23p.m.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said that the U.S. military will not make any changes to its transgender policy until President Donald Trump clarifies what he meant in his series of tweets from Wednesday morning.

“There will be no modifications to the current policy until the president’s direction has been received by the secretary of defense and the secretary has issued implementation guidance,” Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a memo sent to military leaders on Thursday reported by NBC.

CNN reporter Barbara Starr posted a copy of the letter to her twitter page.

Original post Wednesday, July 26 11:16 a.m.

President Donald Trump took to Twitter Wednesday morning to announce that he plans to reinstate a ban on transgender individuals from serving “in any capacity” in the military.

“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military” Trump said in a series of tweets. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”

The former Defense secretary under President Barack Obama, Ash Carter, ended the ban on transgender people serving openly in the military in 2016. When the Obama administration put that new policy in place however, it was given a year-long review process in order to give the Pentagon time to determine how it would accept new transgender recruits.

CNN reports that last month current Defense Secretary James Mattis announced that he was delaying the implementation of the that policy.

Last year the Department of Defense commissioned the Rand Corporation, a nonprofit global policy think tank, to conduct a study to assess the impact allowing transgender people to openly serve would have.

That study had the following key findings:

  • There are an estimated 1,320-6,630 transgender service members in the active component, but not all will seek gender transition-related treatment
  • The costs of gender transition-related health care treatment are relatively low.
  • Previous integration efforts and experiences of foreign militaries indicate a minimal likely impact on force readiness.

According to the 2016 National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS) 20% of transgender adults are veterans who have served in the military.

The National Center for Transgender Equality offers a guide for transgender service members and veterans on how to update there gender marker on military records.

“Records with former names or outdated gender designations can compromise privacy and lead to harassment when applying for jobs or benefits in other situations,” the center’s website states.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Human Rights Campaign both tweeted their disapproval of the President’s announcement.


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