At the beginning of July, a spokesman for James Mattis said the secretary of defense had given his military chiefs another six months to study the impact of transgender people serving openly in the military.
That timeline has apparently been cut short. On July 26, President Donald Trump tweeted that transgender Americans would be barred completely from the nation’s armed forces.
“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,” President Donald Trump tweeted this morning from his personal Twitter account.
“Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming.........victory,” Trump added, “and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender [sic] in the military would entail. Thank you”.
Trump’s decision came without any prior warning, and it appeared to catch the Department of Defense by surprise. Pentagon officials contacted by Task & Purpose appeared blindsided by their commander-in-chief’s morning Twitter storm.
Transgender troops had been permitted to serve openly in the military since last year, when then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter reversed a longstanding ban. He also gave the service chiefs a deadline of July 1, 2017, to come up with guidelines for accessions of new transgender military volunteers. When that deadline approached, the services asked Mattis for a delay in implementation so they could further study the issue. He gave them until Dec. 1.
But then the president tweeted.
What happens next is not entirely clear; the DoD did not immediately respond to a request for an on-record comment from Task & Purpose. According to a 2016 RAND report, there are an estimated 1,320–6,630 transgender troops currently serving in the military.
We will update you with more information as soon as it becomes available.
Two airmen were administratively punished for drinking at the missile launch control center for 150 nuclear LGM-30G Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming, the Air Force confirmed to Task & Purpose on Friday.
Two F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters recently flew a mission in the Middle East in "beast mode," meaning they were loaded up with as much firepower as they could carry.
The F-35s with the 4th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron took off from Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates to execute a mission in support of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Air Forces Central Command revealed. The fifth-generation fighters sacrificed their high-end stealth to fly with a full loadout of weaponry on their wings.
The U.S. Senate closed out the week before Memorial Day by confirming Gen. James McConville as the Army's new chief of staff and Adm. Bill Moran as the Navy's new chief of naval operations.
McConville, previously vice chief of staff of the Army, was confirmed on Thursday along with his successor, Lt Gen. Joseph Marin. Moran, currently vice chief of naval operations, was confirmed Friday along with his successor, Vice Adm. Robert Burke.
The Pentagon is producing precisely diddly-squat in terms of proof that Iran is behind recent attacks in the Middle East, requiring more U.S. troops be sent to the region.
Adm. Michael Gilday, director of the Joint Staff, said on Friday that the U.S. military is extending the deployment of about 600 troops with four Patriot missile batteries already in the region and sending close to 1,000 other service members to the Middle East in response to an Iranian "campaign" against U.S. forces.