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Trump announces ban on transgender people in US military

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President Trump said he will ban transgender people from serving in the military in any capacity, a reversal of the Obama administration decision that would have allowed them to serve, he announced on social media on Wednesday.

Citing the need to focus on victory, Trump said that the military cannot accept the burden of higher medical costs and “disruption” that transgender troops would require.

“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,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

“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.”

The missive comes after Trump’s defense secretary, retired Gen. Jim Mattis, delayed the implementation of the plan to accept transgender troops by six months. The decision came one day before the deadline for the military to update its medical standards to accommodate transgender service members.

The six-month delay was requested by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and would allow a further review of how allowing transgender recruits to serve would affect the military’s lethality, Mattis said in a memo. That review was due by early December.

Mattis cautioned at the time that the delay “in no way presupposes the outcome.”
“Since becoming the Secretary of Defense, I have emphasized that the Department of Defense must measure each policy decision against one critical standard: will the decision affect the readiness and lethality of the force?” Mattis said last month in a statement.

“Put another way, how will the decision affect the ability of America’s military to defend the nation? It is against this standard that I provide the following guidance on the way forward in accessing transgender individuals into the military Services.”

The Pentagon referred all questions about Trump’s announcement to the white house.

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