Trump’s ban on trans people serving in the military took most of the world by complete surprise, among them, many of the “Generals and military experts” he claimed to have consulted prior to his governing-by-tweet dick move Wednesday morning. Reuter’s news service claims an anonymous source said the tweets were very “unexpected” to Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, and “implementation would take considerable time, if it’s even possible.”
General Dunford, stated, “no change yet to Pentagon policy on transgender personnel.” The top ranking general went on to say, “There will be no modifications to the current policy until the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidance,” until then, General Dunford directed all military personnel to, “treat all of our personnel with respect.”
As noted by NPR, the Pentagon had lifted the ban on transgender service members in June 2016. The Secretary of Defense at the time, Ash Carter, said the key reason for the change was “that the Defense Department and the military need to avail ourselves of all talent possible in order to remain what we are now – the finest fighting force the world has ever known.” This sentiment was echoed Wednesday by various Republican politicians, including Senator John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who stated that, “Any American who meets current medical and readiness standards should be allowed to continue serving.”
The number of transgender personnel currently serving numbers runs in the thousands, with Rand Corporation estimating up to, “around 7,000 in the active component and 4,000 in the reserves.” Many transgender soldiers currently serving have reacted angrily to Trump’s tweets, noting that he had promised to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination during his campaign for president. Some even suggesting that this is clear pandering to his far right conservative base.
Congressman Ted Lieu of California released a critical announcement of the president, lamenting that the decision, “is not based on facts it is based on naked bigotry. I know because I served on active duty. The president’s discriminatory decision harms our military readiness for our volunteer-based military.”
But perhaps THE BEST reaction was delivered by Stephen Colbert on The Late Show. The host offered an emphatic “F$%k You!” to the president, much to the delight of his audience.