President Donald Trump plans to bar transgender people from serving in the military and in typical Trump style, he conveyed his intention through three crisp tweets.
The president tweeted that after consulting with “Generals and military experts,” the government “will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US 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,” he added.
Trump’s announcement on Wednesday morning on Twitter did not say what would happen to transgender people already in the military.
A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt Jeff Davis, declined to answer questions about what Trump’s tweets mean for the current policy, including whether transgender people already serving in the military will be kicked out.
“Call the White House,” he said, reported Fox News.
Davis later released a statement, saying, “We refer all questions about the president’s statements to the White House. We will continue to work closely with the White House to address the new guidance provided by the commander in chief on transgender individuals serving the military. We will provide revised guidance to the department in the near future.”
The White House press office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Already, 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 defence 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.