Like President Donald Trump said he would at the end of July, he signed a memo Friday declaring that the Defense Department halt transgenders from enlisting in the military.
The Pentagon will begin implementing the reinstated ban and will no longer be paying for gender reassignment surgeries besides the procedures already in progress to “protect the health of an individual.”
The Pentagon has until February 20, 2018 to prepare a plan for the ban and it will be officially reinstated on March 23, 2018.
Trump has also instructed James Mattis, the secretary of defense and his department “to determine how to address transgender individuals currently serving based on military effectiveness and lethality, unitary cohesion, budgetary constraints, applicable law, and all factors that may be relevant.”
The president is giving the departments leeway on how to handle the policy determining the future of the transgenders currently serving in the military.
“After consultation 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,” tweeted Trump in late July. “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.”
A White House official assured that the move wasn’t due to discrimination against transgender individuals.
“The President is the President for all Americans, and during last year’s campaign he was the first GOP nominee to talk about LGBTQ issues at the GOP convention, but he also was critical of the Obama administration’s change in that longstanding DOD policy,” said an official. “He’s going to continue to ensure that the rights of the LGBTQ community, as well as all Americans, is protected. This policy is based on a series of national security considerations.”
Back in June 2016, Mattis delayed the full implementation of Obama’s former policy allowing transgender troops.
There is an estimated 2,000 to 11,000 transgenders serving. Many soldiers don’t report themselves as being transgendered, so these numbers could be underestimated.
According to a RAND corporation study, gender transition health care costs could increase military spending by $2.4 million to $8.4 million.
LGBTQ groups are lobbying to lift the ban and claim that the cost of discharging transgender troops will be much greater than the health care costs.
However, defense officials and Trump (who know better than anyone) have claimed that transgender soldiers “hinder military effectiveness and lethality, disrupt unit cohesion, or tax military resources.”
Author’s note: Trump promised to reinstate this ban and he did. Not to mention, he didn’t make this important decision on his own. He was advised by military leaders who know best.
Editor’s note: If you can get past the whole LGBTQ political issue, you’ll realize that the military is not the place for people who “need work.” They don’t enlist people with missing limbs or who have substantial health problems of any kind. They don’t admit drug addicts or people with serious psychological issues. Why would they make an exception just because the politics happen to be controversial?