by Countable | 7.26.17
Update: This afternoon Senator John McCain, in his role as the head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued a written statement in response to this morning's tweets:
"The President’s tweet this morning regarding transgender Americans in the military is yet another example of why major policy announcements should not be made via Twitter."
“The statement was unclear. The Department of Defense has already decided to allow currently-serving transgender individuals to stay in the military, and many are serving honorably today. Any American who meets current medical and readiness standards should be allowed to continue serving. There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train, and deploy to leave the military—regardless of their gender identity. We should all be guided by the principle that any American who wants to serve our country and is able to meet the standards should have the opportunity to do so—and should be treated as the patriots they are."
“The Department of Defense is currently conducting a study on the medical obligations it would incur, the impact on military readiness, and related questions associated with the accession of transgender individuals who are not currently serving in uniform and wish to join the military. I do not believe that any new policy decision is appropriate until that study is complete and thoroughly reviewed by the Secretary of Defense, our military leadership, and the Congress."
“The Senate Armed Services Committee will continue to follow closely and conduct oversight on the issue of transgender individuals serving in the military.”
This story was originally published on the Wednesday morning, July 26, 2017, and updated in the afternoon.
In a series of three tweets this morning President Trump announced that no transgender individuals would be allowed to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military.
The three tweets were posted starting at 5:55 AM:
After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
The second at 6:04 AM:
....Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
And the third and final at 6:08 AM:
....victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
Responses were swift, and likely to continue throughout the day. Twitter account, Vets Against Trump, posted this:
Charles Blow, columnist for the New York Times, tweeted the following:
The queer response to today's anti-LGBT bs from Trump (paraphrasing Ms Sophia from "The Color Purple")... pic.twitter.com/PeyTngcaXx— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) July 26, 2017
Though not all tweets were in opposition to the president’s announcement:
I do agree that men and women die if there are distractions. Again, the U.S. Military should not pay for transgender Americans' surgery.— #ThePersistence (@ScottPresler) July 26, 2017
In late February, Military Times published an article outlining the potential effects on approximately 7,000 current members of the U.S. military who are transgender, as well as transgender children of service members living on military bases. Under President Obama there was an intent to gradually change policy to integrate transgender individuals openly into the military. Since July of 2016 policies were supposed to be changed to allow transgender service members to get the VA care they need:
"the policy, approved in July, allow[s] transgender military personnel to serve openly and seek related medical care...Associated rules affect everything from military recruitment to grooming standards and the type of uniforms personnel wear.”
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis is on record questioning the policy moves of the previous administration in his pursuit of developing the military into a "deadly war-fighting force":
"We have to be very careful that we do not undercut battlefield effectiveness with shortsighted social programs."
He halted the administration’s plan in late June 2016 for six months in order to assess, according to The Atlantic, whether or not the changes would affect the "readiness and lethality" of the force.
Regardless of the President’s stance a 2016 study, commissioned from the Rand Corporation by the Pentagon, concluded that the inclusion of transgender individuals would have a "negligible cost," as reported by the Wall Street Journal:
"[the] effects of allowing transgender individuals to serve openly, released in May 2016, found that the policy shift would have little to no impact and negligible costs on military cohesion or readiness...few of those service members would require treatment or surgery and concluded that the cost of implementing the policy would be between $2.4 million and $8.4 million a year. Total military health-care expenditures were $6.27 billion in 2014.”
Based on Wednesday morning’s presidential Twitter announcement, the White House has completed its own assessment.
Do you think this is a good move by the president and military leaders? Should transgender Americans be allowed to serve openly in the military? Will this decision enhance the strength of the U.S. military or harm it?
Use the Take Action button to tell your reps what you think!
— Asha Sanaker
(Photo Credit: Air Combat Command / Creative Commons )
Written by Countable
My name is Jayda Williams, a 17-year-old high school senior from Richmond, VA. I would like to express my discomfort and anger over President Trump's efforts to ban transgender individuals from serving in our military. This is a discriminatory policy that only hurts the progress made by the LGBTQ+ community. If possible, I would appreciate it greatly if you would be willing to express this concern to the Senate as well as let the Senate know that Virginians reject this hateful policy. Rather, we encourage the President to further educate himself on the fact that transgender individuals are not burdens to service. Thank you.
There are already THOUSANDS of transgender people in the military who are serving their country, and it has never been a problem. This is not an issue of saving money for Trump, but an issue of his bias and ignorance.
I am a disabled Combat Veteran. I Served this Country for 10 years and went to Combat 3 times. I have a Meritorious Service Medal, 2 Army Commendation Medals, Army and Navy Achievement Medals, among many other Commendations and Awards. I also happen to be a transgender man. The only reason I left the Military was because I could not reconcile my sense of Integrity and Honor with the lies of omission and obfuscation I was forced to tell by the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. Part of my PTSD is from years of trying to live a double life. Approximately 40% of the transgender community are Veterans. We've always Served and despite this abhorrent set back, we will continue to Serve because we Love Our Country and believe in the Values born in our Constitution. Please use your voices to speak for the People who cannot speak for themselves and work to ensure Equal Protection and Access for our Human and Civil Rights.
These people are Americans who have a right to fight for their country regardless of what draft dodging politicians say. It's not their butts on the front lines, but maybe these so-called representatives of our country's government need to serve in the military before even being allowed to serve in any legislative position. Their view or opinion would then change.....hopefully.
The more inclusive we are, the more inclusive we all become. Trans people are first and foremost humans- let's not forget that.
Can Trump change the law on who can join the military in a tweet? Congress needs to reign him in. He's crazy.
The transgender ban is bigoted and shameful. Please remove the bigots from the White House. After his crazy ranting authoritarian speech at a Boy Scout Jamboree, I'm see reflections of Hitler and am scared. Trump and his terrifying roll back of our nations culture is a war on our nation. Please stop this terrifying administration.
I understand the sentiment for wanting to cut costs, improving cost-effectiveness of military operations; however, I find the "tremendous medical costs and disruption" to be a dubious claim. I have not seen any data that supports this argument for trimming our armed forces in this manner. I would be willing to agree if these claims could be substantiated. Although, I think with its budget, the military would easily be able to accommodate those individuals and support them in their transgender journey.
Oh hell no! It should not matter the gender of a person serving in the military. These people want to serve. They should be allowed to defend their country! This should not even be a discussion. They should be allowed to serve right along side men, women, and homosexuals.
A tweet? This is not policy, its distraction from the most inept President ever to hold the office. The issue now is HEALTHCARE and taking care of people - none of whom are a burden. I hope someone in the GOP has a conscience and will stand up for what is right.
Shame on him! These are Americans who wish to serve their country! It is their right. He is clueless as to how many have already served their country with distinction.
I shouldn't even have to explain why this is wrong! Anyone who wants to serve for this country should be able to do so! Being transgender isn't a "distraction". This is just another example of how prejudiced and uneducated this man is.
I totally agree with many of the view points USA 🇺🇸👍🏻💯🇺🇸❤️🚂. OUR MILITARY SHOULD NOT BE CATERING TO TRANSGENDERS, nor should the American citizens be paying for sex changes to these transgender. PERIOD. TO MANY CONFUSED MINDS. DISTRACTS OUR MEN N WOMEN FROM THEIR DUTIES.
This is blatant simple discrimination. If a PERSON wants to serve, they should serve as long as they pass the normal entrance requirements. Period. The only persons who would be distracted are the bigots. Stop catering to them.
Someone remind trump that he is a child rapist, con artist, lier , draft dodger , sexual predator , sexual assaultor, racist , tax evader and etc . And he needs to be impeached him and all republicans. Vote them out before it's too late
As a Veteran I fully support this! This is about unit cohesion on the battlefield! My tax money is not going to go to paying some weak minded individual's gender reassignment! That is immoral!
Stop Just stop Enough We as a country must start ignoring the tweets from the boil on the ass of society These are done to stroke his ego and to satisfy some other physical or mental need that is not being satisfied It's smoke and mirrors Keep your eyes on the balls, healthcare , russia, impeachment If the yacht/sex story told to a group of 11-12 year old boys was not enough to start impeachment proceedings than the problem isn't trump, it's you Start something now before the boil bursts and spreads its infection everywhere
Thank you last week it was announced Transgenders would get free sex changes in the military! What we don't need ppl to join the military specifically to get a sex change! How many ppl will join just for a sex change that our tax dollars will pay for? If they want sex changes they can pay for it why do democrats think we need to pay for what they want done?
But the military can spend $84M on viagra! What a crock! No. 45 is wrong!
Banning transgender people from the military is reprehensible, indefensible and WRONG in every way. Please stand up for my fellow citizens who are willing to risk their lives for our freedom.