DoD: Trump’s Ban Will Not Stop Our Transgender Recruiting And Retention — For Now

Analysis

President Trump’s decision banning certain transgender people from serving in the military is not the final say on the matter, experts have told Task & Purpose.


The White House announced late on March 23 that men and women “with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria—those who may require substantial medical treatment, including through medical drugs or surgery” could no longer serve in the military.

However, the Defense Department will continue to assess and retain transgender individuals for the time being, because four federal judges have ruled against banning transgender men and women from military service, said Army Maj. David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman.

Eastburn could not say how many transgender service members are in the military, because the Pentagon classifies troops as men or women. Two transgender recruits are currently under contract.

Related: ‘We’re Already Here’: A Renewed Transgender Ban Would Kill This Seasoned Army Grunt’s Long Career »

The federal court rulings blocking the transgender ban remain in effect, so Trump’s announcement is moot in the immediate future, said Matt Thorn, executive director of OutServe SLDN, which brought one of the cases challenging the transgender ban.

For right now, service members who were diagnosed with gender dysphoria before the start of President Trump’s policy are safe, said Blake Dremann, president of SPART*A, an advocacy groups for gay, lesbian and transgender troops.

“Those that have chosen to wait out the policy and have not been able to come out due to uncertainty or operational commitments are no longer going to have that ability,” said Dremann, an active-duty Navy lieutenant commander.

“Currently serving transgender service members will continue to go to work every day as they have before contributing to the readiness and lethality of the force. They are deployed all over the world including Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Trump’s March 23 announcement came after a long and complicated process that he sparked with his July 26, 2017, tweets announcing that he would not allow transgender men and women to serve in the military.

“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,” Trump tweeted.

Trump followed up with an Aug. 25, 2017 memo banning transgender women and men from joining the military and giving Defense Secretary Mattis until Feb. 21 to provide a recommendation on whether current transgender troops should be allowed to continue to serve.

Two federal judges subsequently ruled against the transgender recruiting ban, and that prompted the Pentagon to allow transgender individuals to enlist starting on Jan.1, 2018.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Logan Ireland, who was featured in a 2015 documentary about transgender troops, posted a March 23 Facebook message saying that he will continue to serve as long as he can.

“As a proud Air Force Airman, my commitment to serve my country with integrity, honor, and loyalty will not waver no matter what obstacle is put in front of me,” Ireland wrote. “We are highly trained and masters of our craft. This mindset is no different than any other military member throughout history. When the fight gets loud, we get focused.

“Until the day we as transgender service members are ordered to take off our uniform, we will press forward and continue our commitments.”

WATCH NEXT:

U.S. soldiers surveil the area during a combined joint patrol in Manbij, Syria, November 1, 2018. Picture taken November 1, 2018. (U.S. Army/Zoe Garbarino/Handout via Reuters)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will leave "a small peacekeeping group" of 200 American troops in Syria for a period of time after a U.S. pullout, the White House said on Thursday, as President Donald Trump pulled back from a complete withdrawal.

Read More Show Less
Construction crews staged material needed for the Santa Teresa Border Wall Replacement project near the Santa Teresa Port of Entry. (U.S. Customs and Border Patrol/Mani Albrecht)

With a legal fight challenge mounting from state governments over the Trump administration's use of a national emergency to construct at the U.S.-Mexico border, the president has kicked his push for the barrier into high gear.

On Wednesday, President Trump tweeted a time-lapse video of wall construction in New Mexico; the next day, he proclaimed that "THE WALL IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW"

But there's a big problem: The footage, which was filmed more than five months ago on Sep. 18, 2018, isn't really new wall construction at all, and certainly not part of the ongoing construction of "the wall" that Trump has been haggling with Congress over.

Read More Show Less
(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton

A group comprised of former U.S. military veterans and security contractors who were detained in Haiti on weapons charges has been brought back to the United States and arrested upon landing, The Miami-Herald reported.

The men — five Americans, two Serbs, and one Haitian — were stopped at a Port-au-Prince police checkpoint on Sunday while riding in two vehicles without license plates, according to police. When questioned, the heavily-armed men allegedly told police they were on a "government mission" before being taken into custody.

Read More Show Less
Army Sgt. Jeremy Seals died on Oct. 31, 2018, following a protracted battle with stomach cancer. His widow, Cheryl Seals is mounting a lawsuit alleging that military care providers missed her husband's cancer. Task & Purpose photo illustration by Aaron Provost

The widow of a soldier whose stomach cancer was allegedly overlooked by Army doctors for four years is mounting a medical malpractice lawsuit against the military, but due to a decades-old legal rule known as the Feres Doctrine, her case will likely be dismissed before it ever goes to trial.

Read More Show Less
The first grenade core was accidentally discovered on Nov. 28, 2018, by Virginia Department of Historic Resources staff examining relics recovered from the Betsy, a British ship scuttled during the last major battle of the Revolutionary War. The grenade's iron jacket had dissolved, but its core of black powder remained potent. Within a month or so, more than two dozen were found. (Virginia Department of Historic Resources via The Virginian-Pilot)

In an uh-oh episode of historic proportions, hand grenades from the last major battle of the Revolutionary War recently and repeatedly scrambled bomb squads in Virginia's capital city.

Wait – they had hand grenades in the Revolutionary War? Indeed. Hollow iron balls, filled with black powder, outfitted with a fuse, then lit and thrown.

And more than two dozen have been sitting in cardboard boxes at the Department of Historic Resources, undetected for 30 years.

Read More Show Less