In a clear repudiation of the President’s harmful and ill-conceived Twitter policy-making, 56 retired Generals and Admirals released a joint statement warning President Trump’s transgender military ban would degrade military readiness.
According to the statement released today by the Palm Center, the decorated military brass not only condemned Trump’s reckless ban, but also declared their unwavering support for thousands of brave trans service members already serving our country with valor.
“This proposed ban, if implemented, would cause significant disruptions, deprive the military of mission-critical talent, and compromise the integrity of transgender troops who would be forced to live a lie, as well as non-transgender peers who would be forced to choose between reporting their comrades or disobeying policy,” say the generals and admirals. “As a result, the proposed ban would degrade readiness even more than the failed ‘don't ask, don't tell’ policy. Patriotic transgender Americans who are serving -- and who want to serve -- must not be dismissed, deprived of medically necessary health care, or forced to compromise their integrity or hide their identity.”
Last week, Trump made the unconscionable decision via Twitter to ban qualified transgender service members from serving “in any capacity” in the military. If implemented, the ban could result in the discharge of more than 15,000 transgender Americans currently serving our country. HRC blasted the ban as an all out assault on an already vulnerable group of service members.
“These retired generals and admirals have made it clear exactly how destructive President Trump's proposed transgender military ban would be to our nation's armed forces," said Stephen Peters, HRC National Press Secretary and Marine veteran. “President Trump's and Vice President Pence's attack on bravely serving transgender troops is dangerous and unpatriotic. They absolutely must listen to these voices of reason and reverse course in support of ALL of our nation's heroes, regardless of their gender identity.”
The Generals and Admirals also shot down claims made by Trump that the financial costs associated with trans military service would be too disruptive, saying these claims are “without merit.”
“The financial cost of providing health care to transgender troops would be, at most, $8.4 million per year. This amounts to one one-hundredth of one percent of the military's annual health care budget,” according to the statement. “As for ostensible disruptions, transgender troops have been serving honorably and openly for the past year, and have been widely praised by commanders.”
Dozens of Senators and House members from both sides of the aisle expressed their outrage over the move, with Senators already requesting the Pentagon not implement the ban. The Defense Department has said they need more guidance from the White House amid widespread confusion following Trump’s announcement.