Trump Bans Transgender People From Serving In Military

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Wed, Jul 26 - 3:25 pm EDT | 1 year ago by
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President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday to make the surprise announcement that transgender individuals will no longer be allowed to serve in the U.S. military, putting an end to a decision that former President Barack Obama codified last year.

“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 as part of a series of tweets.

“Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical cost and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you,” he concluded.

Trump’s decision comes a year after former Defense Secretary Ash Carter issued an order allowing transgender troops to serve openly. They would also be allowed to undergo gender reassignment surgery and formally change their gender in internal systems.

Under Carter’s directive, the military would have had until July 1 to hone its policies so that transgender servicemembers would feel welcomed. But Defense Secretary Jim Mattis decided to push that date back by six months to give current military chiefs the ability to review the policy and determine if it would negatively impact the “readiness and lethality” of the military.

“After consulting with the service chiefs and secretaries, I have determined that it is necessary to defer the start of accessions for six months,” he said in a memo. “We will use this additional time to evaluate more carefully the impact of such accessions on readiness and lethality.”

Mattis’s tenure has been characterized by a series of cost-cutting measures and shifted priorities in order to ensure the efficacy of the U.S. military’s operations.

“Only by instilling budget discipline, by establishing a culture of cost awareness, and by holding ourselves accountable, can we earn the trust and confidence of the Congress and the American people that we are the best possible stewards of taxpayer dollars,” he wrote.

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