Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Trump Never Consulted The Military's Top Officer Before Banning Transgender Troops
President Donald Trump announced last summer that his proposed ban on transgender people in the U.S. military was the product of “consultation” with “Generals and military experts.”
But the country’s highest-ranking general, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford, wasn’t among those whom Trump consulted, according to emails unearthed Tuesday.
In two leaked correspondences obtained by BuzzFeed News, Dunford told generals of the Air Force, Army, Marines, National Guard and Navy that Trump’s July 26 announcement proposing to ban transgender people from serving in the armed forces “was unexpected” and something he had “not” been “consulted” about.
“When asked, I will state that I was not consulted,” Dunford wrote in one of the emails.
The revelation casts further doubt over Trump’s contentious ban, which has been struck down by federal judges. In light of the court rulings, the Pentagon announced in December that it would allow transgender people to enroll in the U.S. military, despite opposition from the White House. The Trump administration responded that it would look into legal options to “ensure” that Trump’s proposed ban can be implemented.
Neither the White House nor the Pentagon responded to requests for comment from the New York Daily News on Tuesday on which “Generals and military experts” Trump in fact consulted.
Judges and critics have questioned whether Trump consulted any military officials at all before announcing in a series of tweets that transgender people shouldn’t “serve in any capacity in the U.S. military” because the country “cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”
In a ruling this past November, U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis asserted that “President Trump’s tweets did not emerge from a policy review,” but was rather “capricious, arbitrary and unqualified.”
Trump’s proposed ban blindsided military officials and drew the ire of LGBTQ activists and politicians across the aisle, as transgender troops already in the military questioned what the president’s unexpected announcement would mean for them.
The “tremendous medical costs” that Trump referred to were scrutinized by experts — some of whom pointed out that the military spends five times as much on Viagra and other erectile dysfunction medications than it does on medical expenses for transgender troops.
©2018 New York Daily News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
About 1,500 Schofield Barracks soldiers, 16 helicopters and hundreds of Humvees, heavy equipment and shipping containers are headed to Thailand for the first stop of Pacific Pathways 2020, an Army approach to bulking up in the region with a light but persistent footprint that follows the "places, not bases" mantra of the Pentagon.
This year also will bring similar Pathways four- to five-month troop deployments (but not from Hawaii) to the Philippines and, in a first, an Oceania rotation to locations including Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Tonga, Fiji, Palau and Yap.
The fall time frame will include another first for the Army: Defender Pacific, in which 8,000 to 10,000 mainland-based soldiers will practice rapidly deploying for 30 to 45 days through the second and first island chains that China defines around the South China Sea.
In 2021 Defender Pacific could jump to 30,000 soldiers rotating through on relatively short notice, Defense News reported. About 85,000 soldiers are assigned to the region.
There's nothing quite like finding out that the nifty little trinket you blew a paycheck on when you were a junior enlisted service member is actually worth three-quarters of a million dollars. (Take that every SNCO who ever gave a counseling statement on personal finances.)
Special Operations Command review finds deployment and leadership issues but no 'systemic ethics problem'
The long-awaited Special Operations Command's ethics review has finally been released, which argues that there is no "systemic ethics problem" in the special operations community while acknowledging a range of underlying problems stemming from a high operations tempo and insufficient leadership.
John Kelly, the retired Marine general who worked as President Trump's chief of staff for more than 16 months, told a crowd in Sarasota, Florida on Monday that he trusted John Bolton and thinks he should testify in the Senate impeachment trial.
"If John Bolton says that in the book I believe John Bolton," Kelly said during a town hall lecture series, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, mentioning claims in a forthcoming memoir by Trump's former national security advisor that the president told him a freeze on military aid to Ukraine was conditioned on the country opening an investigation into the Bidens.