Trump Bans Transgender People From Military
President Donald Trump is barring transgender people from serving in the military “in any capacity,” citing “tremendous medical costs and disruption.” He announced the news on Twitter.
He did not say what would happen to transgender people already in the military. Trump’s decision drew immediate angry responses from groups that represent transgender people and service members.
According to a report, there are as many as 250 service members in the process of transitioning to their preferred genders or who have been approved to formally change gender within the Pentagon’s personnel system, according to several defense officials.
The Pentagon has refused to release any data on the number of transgender troops currently serving. A Rand Corp. study estimated that there are between 2,500 and 7,000 transgender service members on active duty and an additional 1,500 to 4,000 in the reserves.
Transgender service members have been able to serve openly in the military since last year, when former Defense Secretary Ash Carter ended the ban. Since Oct. 1, transgender troops have been able to receive medical care and start formally changing their gender identifications in the Pentagon’s personnel system.
Carter also gave the services until July 1 to develop policies to allow people already identifying as transgender to newly join the military if they meet physical, medical and other standards and have been stable in their identified genders for 18 months. Military chiefs recently announced a delay on allowing transgender people to enlist.