While people around the world responded in anger to President Trump’s tweets yesterday which appeared to notify the nation that the U.S. military has officially decided to prohibit transgender individuals from serving their country, it now appears that this ban never ‘officially’ happened. Trump’s tweets, for those who missed them, read as follows:
“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. 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”
The only problem with this decision, on the part of the President, is that it is far from being an official order. In fact, none of The Joint Chiefs of Staff, including chairman General Joseph Dunford, have received official word of this ban from the Trump administration. The ban, which Trump announced from his smartphone or computer keyboard, only reaches as far as Twitter, apparently with no official documentation or notifications released to anyone within the government.
As of right now, no changes are being made, and the military has absolutely no plans to prevent transgender individuals from serving in their ranks. When it comes down to it, the ban never actually happened, and many question if it ever will.
“[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 guidelines,” General Dunford explained. “In the meantime, we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect. As importantly, given the current fight and the challenges we face, we will all remain focused on accomplishing our assigned missions.”
To make matters even more confusing, is the fact that Trump claimed, in his tweets, that he consulted with “Generals and military experts”, yet it seems as though none of the generals in the U.S. military had any clue that this ban would be announced, and still haven’t received any official word in regards to it. So until official documentation is sent to relevant parties, this ban is non-existent.