President Trump took to Twitter this morning with the announcement that transgender individuals will not be permitted to serve "any capacity" in the United States Military, taking away an Obama administration policy from 2016 that allowed transgender people to serve.
"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 US Military. 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," his Tweets read.
Many people responded to this announcement today, including previous members of the Obama administration. Former Defense Secretary, Ashton Carter, who announced the lift of the ban in 2016, has said, "To choose service members on other grounds than military qualifications is social policy and has no place in our military... There are already transgender individuals who are serving capably and honorably. This action would also send the wrong signal to a younger generation thinking about military service."
Joe Biden also commented on the issue tweeting, "every patriotic American who is qualified to serve in our military should be able to serve. Full stop."
The Washington Post printed today that "the military spends five times as much on Viagara as it would on transgender troops' medical care." A study by the RAND Corporation last year found that the increase for transgender troops in the military computed to a .04% to .13% increase. There are around 2500 transgender individuals currently serving.
There were people who were praising the President for his decision, as well. Representative Vicky Hartzler (R), Missouri, tweeted, "Pleased to hear that @realDonaldTrump shares my readiness and cost concerns, & will be changing this costly & damaging policy. #readiness"
Family Research Council President, Tony Perkins, said, "I applaud President Trump for keeping his promise to return to military priorities - and not continue the social experimentation of the Obama era that has crippled our nation's military... the military can now focus its efforts on preparing to fight and win wars, rather than being used to advance the Obama social agenda."
As far as Pennsylvania officials are concerned, Senator Bob Casey released a statement today saying that "Americans willing to serve our nation in the military should be judged on their ability to do the job, not their gender identity, prohibiting qualified, capable people from serving in our nation's military because of who they are makes our nation less safe."
Senator Toomey did not say whether or not he agreed with the President's decision, but said "Department of Defense personnel decisions should be based entirely on maximizing the American people."
Some believe this may just be the start of the shake up in the military. Some are concerned that President Trump will next reinstate the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy that was lifted in 2011. Some worry (or hope) that the next step will be to remove women from the military, one of those people being Milo Yiannopoulos.
Yiannopoulos, former editor of Breitbart News Network who co-hosted a "Gays for Trump" party at the RNC went as far as to tell the Washington Post, "I only wish he'd gone further and banned women from combat units, too, since the evidence clearly shows their presence is disastrous for both morale and performance. Baby steps?"
It is likely that President Trump's decision will be taken to court. OutServe Service Members Legal Defense Network said in a statement, “We are going to fight for [transgender soldiers] as hard as they are fighting for the country. And we’re going to start by taking the fight to Donald Trump in the federal court.”
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