On July 26, Donald Trump tweeted his proposal for banning transgender service members from the U.S. military.
After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow......— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1501073758.0
....Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming.....— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1501074279.0
....victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1501074501.0
In response to those tweets, General Joseph Dunford, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, insisted that there would be “no modifications to the current policy” until the Pentagon had received and implemented new guidance on that proposed policy.
On Wednesday, The Wall St. Journal reported that Donald Trump's White House is preparing to issue that guidance in a 2 1/2 page memo, which will be sent to the Pentagon in the coming days.
The White House will send guidance to the Pentagon on transgender military ban "in coming days," WSJ reports… https://t.co/QHvaXcLmQV— CNN Politics (@CNN Politics) 1503579787.0
According to WSJ, the guidance would:
- direct the Pentagon to deny admittance of transgender individuals into the U.S. military
- stop spending on medical treatment regimens for those currently serving
- allow Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to consider "deployability" in deciding whether to kick a transgender service member out of the military
- give General Mattis six months to prepare to fully implement the new ban
Once implemented, this policy would reverse the Obama administration's lifting of the ban on transgender service, which was announced by then Defense Secretary Ash Carter last summer.
It's been reported that Trump's motivation for implementing the ban is to assuage House conservatives who refuse to vote for a budget that includes funds for medical care for the transition of transgender service members, which is considered medically necessary treatment.
That medical care would add just $8.4 million to the totalmedical costs of active duty service members, a little more than 0.1 percent of total medical care spending (or about 0.0014 percent of Trump's total defense budget proposal.) A study by the Palm Center estimates that the total cost of implementing the ban would be $960 million, or more than 100 times the estimated savings.
Reminder that discharging trans troops would cost more than 100x as much as providing health care coverage https://t.co/nkAfKK75w7— Rewire.News (@Rewire.News) 1503579889.0
Critics were quick to slam this move.
There's NO reason for a transgender ban. Military isn't asking for it. Americans don't want it. This is about Trump… https://t.co/ikaHs0LocO— VoteVets (@VoteVets) 1503538759.0
This is NOT how you keep America safe. Period. #ProtectTransTroops https://t.co/ESu55wL5M4— Nancy Pelosi (@Nancy Pelosi) 1503537103.0
This is outright unacceptable & un-American. I'll repeat: we should accept w/gratitude all patriots willing to serve https://t.co/ZU54vypWRE— Senator Jeff Merkley (@Senator Jeff Merkley) 1503540931.0
It's disgraceful to repay bravery with discrimination. Service to country knows no race, creed or gender identity. https://t.co/RwgUsKuyiM— Andrew Cuomo (@Andrew Cuomo) 1503540647.0
It's estimated that between 12-15,000 transgender service members serve in the U.S. military.