President Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States of America, has announced that he will not allow transgender people to serve in the US military.
In a series of tweets on Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump announced that the United States military has banned transgender people from serving ‘in any capacity.’
The reason is that because the military must be ‘focused on decisive and overwhelming victory ‘, they cannot be ‘burdened with the tremendous cost and disruption’ of transgender peoples.
“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender indiviuals to serve in any capacity in the US military.
Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous cost and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”
According to Politico, the Trump’s decision is a reversal of an Obama-era policy established in June 2016 by former Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who shifted Pentagon policy to allow transgender troops to serve openly.
Last month, Defense Secretary James Mattis announced that the Pentagon would delay his predecessor’s order through the remainder of 2017 in order to review the impact of the shift.
Ash Carter, the Defense secretary under Obama, ended the ban on transgender people serving openly in the military in 2016, but allowed for a year-long review process to allow the Pentagon to determine how it would accept new transgender recruits into the military.
On the eve of that one-year deadline, Mattis announced that he was delaying the implementation of the new policy, saying he needed more time.
“Since becoming the Secretary of Defense, I have emphasized that the Department of Defense must measure each policy decision against one critical standard: will the decision affect the readiness and lethality of the force?” Mattis said in a memo late last month. “Put another way, how will the decision affect the ability of America’s military to defend the nation? It is against this standard that I provide the following guidance on the way forward in accessing transgender individuals into the military Services.”
This ban comes after a 2016 presidential race where Trump called himself a “real friend” of the LGBT community. He also accused Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton of prioritizing “immigration policies that bring Islamic extremists” into the United States.
How Many Transgender People Serve In The US Military?
According to a 2016 study commissioned by the Defense Department, about 2,450 of the estimated 1.3 active military members are transgender, making up about just 0.1-0.5 percent.
About ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’
“Don’t ask, don’t tell” was the United States policy on military service by gays, bisexuals, and lesbians, instituted by the Clinton Administration on February 28, 1994. The controversial policy prohibited military personnel from discriminating against or harassing closeted homosexual or bisexual service members or applicants while barring openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual persons from military service.
A July 6, 2011, ruling from a federal appeals court barred further enforcement of the U.S. military’s ban on openly gay service members. President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen sent that certification to Congress on July 22, 2011, which set the end of DADT to September 20, 2011.
According to CNN, a 2016 study commissioned by the Defense Department concluded that letting transgender people serve openly would have a “minimal impact” on readiness and health care costs, largely because there are so few in the military’s 1.3 million-member force.