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After consideration 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 U.S. 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.”
As the Trump administration promotes its “American Heroes [Themed] Week,” the alleged Commander-in-Chief let it be known in a torrential three-tweet series that he does not include trans people in the category of “American Heroes,” especially those currently and previously serving in the U.S. military.
Trump’s official policy-by-tweet contradicts Department of Defense new regulations released June 30, 2016 under Defense Secretary Ash Carter permitting trans people to join and openly serve their country. At that time, the United States added its name to an ever-increasing list of 19 other nations welcoming trans people into their military ranks, with the Netherlands as the first as far back as 1973. A sampling of others include Australia, Bolivia, Canada, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, and Spain.
The U.S. House of Representatives defeated a bill earlier this month on a bipartisan basis, which, if passed, would have prohibited the Pentagon from covering the costs of transition surgeries. Twenty-Four Republicans joined the Democrats in turning back the proposal introduced by Missouri Republican Representative Vicky Hartzler.
Estimates vary regarding the number of active trans members currently serving, from 1,320 – 6,630 according to a Rand Corporation Study, to an estimated 8,800 in the U.S. armed forces, and 6,700 serving in the Guard or Reserve forces by the Williams Institute.
The Rand Study fully debunks the Liar-in-Chief’s assertion of some sort of burdensome “tremendous medical costs” expended on trans service members. Of the Pentagon’s annual military health care budget of $6.28 billion, an estimated relatively minuscule $2.4 – 8.4 million accounts for transition-related health care costs.
In addition, Rand found that merely 25 – 130 active-component trans military personnel have deployment restrictions due to transition-related medical treatments. In comparison, 50,000 active-duty soldiers in one single branch, the Army, cannot deploy for medical and other reasons.
It should be crystal clear to anyone that Trump’s motive in issuing his latest ban on an entire category of people has nothing to do with concerns over improving military readiness. It has nothing to do with health care costs. It has nothing to do with some alleged and unspecific “disruption.”
As North Korea increasingly develops and improves its nuclear and intercontinental missile capabilities, as the crisis in Syria worsens by the day with its ally Russia gaining more regional and geopolitical influence, as our NATO allies are forced to go it alone while Donald whistles in the wind, by declaring war on trans people in the military, he kicks the proverbial can down the road in terms of developing consistent and coordinated strategic military and foreign policy initiatives. He also hardens his appeal of the base feelings with his base of support.
Since Trump’s inauguration, the White House website has removed reference to LGBT issues and policies from the previous administration, and reversed an Obama-era executive order permitting trans students to use school facilities most closely aligning with their gender identities.