Mattis orders Pentagon to allow transgender troops to continue serving

Trump claimed to have consulted with "generals and military experts" before announcing the ban but Pentagon officials were completely surprised with the policy change which was announced in typical Trump fashion, by a tweet.

In his tweet, Trump said the reason behind the ban was due to the military's inability to cover the medical expenses of transgender soldiers, but banning them could cost the US $960 million, according to NBC News. However, this isn't a win.

Trump's transgender military ban is another attempt to attack their validity as people and roll back the progress LGBT activists have made over the last several decades.

Critics of the ban pounced on the fact that transgender troops will be able to stay in uniform for the time being: "In the interim, current policy with respect to now serving members will remain in place".

He said he would create a panel of experts that would include members of the departments of Defence and Homeland Security "to provide advice and recommendations" on the implementation of the measure, TIME magazine reported.

Mattis said Tuesday that transgender service members will continue to serve in the military while the Pentagon conducts a study of how to implement Trump's directive.

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Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund works to end discrimination based on gender identity and expression, and uses direct legal services, test-case litigation, public education and public policy to push the nation toward equality. The Defense Department has acknowledged "receiv [ing] formal guidance from the White House in reference to transgender personnel serving in the military", according to Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White.

The panel will be drawn from the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, but its members have yet to be named.

Replacing transgender service members would cost the USA 100 times more than the annual cost of providing them transition-related care.

Worse, however, as U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) notes, Trump's tweet was downright risky.

On Wednesday the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted leader Kim Jong Un as saying the drill for the launch of the Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile was "like a real war" and the first step by North Korea's military for operations in the Pacific and "a meaningful prelude to containing Guam". The President's August 25, 2017 Memorandum expressly provides that the new ban does not go into effect until March 23, 2018 and expressly states that no one can be discharged for being transgender in the meantime. The difference was, instead of determining the impact recruited troops would have on military readiness, Carter wanted to study the impact current active transgender soldiers would have on the battlefield.

  • Adam Floyd