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Trump Bans Transgender Recruits from the Military

30 August 2017

Trump effectively reinstated a ban on open transgender service that had been lifted previous year by former President Barack Obama.

Obama's administration allowed transgenders to serve openly in the forces in 2016.

After months of speculation, the White House is poised to brief the Pentagon on the protocol for banning trans military servicemembers and those who want to enlist reports The Wall Street Journal. He said that until Mattis made his decision that no action may be taken against them. "This unprecedented policy amounts to a purge of qualified, contributing troops, and will serve only to undermine unit cohesion and weaken military readiness", Levi said. It also leaves decision of whether to remove current troops to Mattis.

The directive gives the Department of Defense six months to develop an implementation plan that will go into effect on March 23, 2018.

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The memo, released by the White House on Friday, laid out in more detail a ban on transgender individuals serving in the USA armed forces that Trump announced via Twitter last month.

Trump passed over authority for already enlisted transgender soldiers to defence secretary, Jim Mattis. It also halts military expenses on sexual reassignment surgery, except for those who have already begun medical procedures, and implements criteria for whether transgender individuals already in the military should be allowed to continue to serve. Mattis must submit a plan by February 21 that includes information on how the Armed Forces will address those existing service members.

The Pentagon had little to say on the subject Friday.

Defense officials and the White House have worked to draw up the guidance so the Pentagon could reverse course on allowing transgender individuals into the military in such a way that the changes would stand up in court.

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This is a reversal of an Obama-era policy - which was still under final review - that would have allowed transgender people to serve openly in the military.

Since Carter's policy change, some troops — possibly a couple hundred — have openly declared their status as transgender individuals.

California Democrat Ro Khanna tweeted: "Our transgender service members deserve honour and respect". But the President instructed him to extend the ban for an unlimited period. Implementation plans for the ban itself must be given to Trump by the same date.

Well, it seems that now, further direction has been received, as Trump officially signed an order on Friday evening that bans transgender military recruitment.

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Estimates of the number of transgender troops in the service vary widely. The Rand Corporation study estimated that only 29 to 129 service members "seek "transition-related care that could disrupt their ability to deploy". This would cost the military between $2.4 million and $8.4 million per year. But, if that isn't enough, a new report says that removing transgender soldier and sailors will cost almost $1 billion. The Pentagon pondered how to respond, and Secretary of Defense James Mattis said he was waiting to hear from the White House exactly how he should proceed. Duckworth is an army veteran.

Trump Bans Transgender Recruits from the Military