Mattis assembling panel to discuss transgender troops
31 August, 2017, 01:44 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is leaving an Obama-era policy on transgendermilitary service members largely intact, saying he needs input from an expert panel to determine the best way to implement President Trump's ban that would keep transgender people from serving in the USA military. Trump's announcement that members of the transgender community would no longer be authorized to serve as United States soldiers caught the military top brass by surprise, and he followed it up by last week signing an executive order making official his decision to ban transgender military soldiers.
"Once the panel reports its recommendations and following my consultation with the secretary of Homeland Security", he said, "I will provide my advice to the president concerning implementation of his policy direction".
If your facebook timeline is anything like mine, it spent the morning erupting with contradictory reports about the current status of Donald Trump's already-infamous ban on transgender troops serving openly in the military.
Members will be tasked with developing a system to "promote military readiness, lethality, and unit cohesion, with due regard for budgetary constraints and consistent with applicable law".
Trump'stransgender military ban is another attempt to attack their validity as people and roll back the progress LGBT activists have made over the last several decades.
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There are lawsuits pending against Trump and the DOD for this ban, including one lead by five anonymous active duty service members and another from the American Civil Liberties Union. However, a quick scan of the numbers (and a study by the RAND group) shows that at most trans service people cost the military $8.4 million dollars a year in medical costs.
The ban would take effect next year.
Trump claimed to have consulted with "generals and military experts" before announcing the ban but Pentagon officials were completely surprised with the policy change which was announced in typical Trump fashion, by a tweet.
On Aug. 25, the White House provided official guidance to the Pentagon, ordering that transgender applicants would no longer be accepted into the military and calling for a study to determine whether transgender troops could remain in service.
Trump gave Defense Secretary Jim Mattis authority to decide the matter of openly transgender individuals already serving.
As Defense Secretary, Mattis has emphasized that he has little tolerance for policies that detract from military readiness or the Pentagon's effectiveness on the battlefield. That ban will go into effect in about 7 months, on March 23.
Legal director Shannon Minter of the National Center of Lesbian Rights has asserted that Mattis' latest announcement was only misdirection.
The issue directly affects thousands of service members.
On Friday night, Trump issued guidelines on the ban of transgender troops.
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