Trump orders military to ban transgender troops

Monday, 28 Aug, 2017

Trump had announced the plan in July to withdraw his predecessor Barack Obama's instructions on allowing transgender individuals openly serve in the military. According to SPARTA, a national organization for transgender people who now or formerly served in the military.

A report from the Palm Center, an independent research institute with a focus on sexual minorities in the military, used a mid-range estimate of 12,800 to calculate that removing these service members from the military would cost about $960 million.

"As part of the implementation plan, the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall determine how to address transgender individuals now serving in the United States military", Trump wrote in the memorandum.

Those factors include broad measures such as "military effectiveness, ' budgetary constraints and 'unit cohesion", as well as other factors Mattis deems 'relevant'. It also leaves decision of whether to remove current troops to Mattis. Defense will have six months to submit a policy recommendation to Trump, with the deadline set for March 23, 2018.

If you're a trans service member who will be affected by this policy, Lambda Legal wants to hear from you.

"Trump seems to be granting Mattis discretion to decide which now serving transgender people can continue to serve", Tobias said via email.

'It appears that Mattis has discretion substantively and procedurally'.

Mattis now has six months to work out details of the new rules.

The Pentagon had little to say on the subject Friday. The White House has attributed the decision to "military readiness".

What are the potential readiness implications of allowing transgender service members to serve openly?

Two weeks ago, Donald Trump assured to have rendered "a great service" to the american army by prohibiting transgender people to serve.

'When I was bleeding to death in my Black Hawk helicopter after I was shot down, I didn't care if the American troops risking their lives to save me were gay, straight, transgender, black, white, or brown, ' Senator Tammy Duckworth of IL said.

The president drew intense scrutiny in June when he abruptly mentioned the ban in a tweet, surprising lawmakers and reversing course on Obama-era policies. And shortly after that, Trump went to Twitter to announce a total ban, without having used the customary interagency policy process. You can read Trump's full memo here.

The overall basis for the president's directive was "national security considerations", according to a senior White House official.

Military leadership later said that they'd been caught off guard by the announcement. The reason for the wide range is that policies on transgender service at that time limited the amount of data. This would cost the military between $2.4 million and $8.4 million per year. "When we open our hearts to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice, no place for bigotry and no tolerance for hate", the president said.