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DoD: Trump’s Ban Will Not Stop Our Transgender Recruiting And Retention — For Now
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.
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.
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.”
On Tuesday at the Association of the U.S. Army's annual conference, Army families had the opportunity to tell senior leaders exactly what was going on in their worlds — an opportunity that is, unfortunately, all too rare.
A new documentary series about Clint Lorance pits the infantry officer convicted of murder against his former soldiers
The fog of war, just kills, and war crimes are the focus of a new documentary series coming to STARZ. Titled Leavenworth, the six-part series profiles 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, the Army infantry officer who was convicted on murder charges for ordering his soldiers to fire on three unarmed Afghan men on a motorcycle, killing two and wounding the third, while deployed to the Zhari district in Kandahar province, on July 2, 2012.
A big stereotype surrounding U.S. service members and veterans is that they are defined only by their military service, from buying "Dysfunctional Veteran" t-shirts to playing hard-boiled, high-octane first-person shooters like Battlefield and Call of Duty (we honestly have no idea where anyone could get that impression).
But the folks at OSD (formerly called Operation Supply Drop), a non-profit veteran service organization that aims to help troops and vets connect with each other through free video games, service programs and other activities, recently found that most of the gamers they've served actually prefer less military-centric fare like sports games and fantasy RPGs.
CEYLANPINAR, Turkey (Reuters) - Shelling could be heard at the Syrian-Turkish border on Friday morning despite a five-day ceasefire agreed between Turkey and the United States, and Washington said the deal covered only a small part of the territory Ankara aims to seize.
Reuters journalists at the border heard machine-gun fire and shelling and saw smoke rising from the Syrian border battlefield city of Ras al Ain, although the sounds of fighting had subsided by mid-morning.
The truce, announced on Thursday by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence after talks in Ankara with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, sets out a five-day pause to let the Kurdish-led SDF militia withdraw from an area controlled by Turkish forces.
The SDF said air and artillery attacks continued to target its positions and civilian targets in Ral al Ain.
"Turkey is violating the ceasefire agreement by continuing to attack the town since last night," SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted.
The Kurdish-led administration in the area said Turkish truce violations in Ras al Ain had caused casualties, without giving details.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's withholding of $391 million in military aid to Ukraine was linked to his request that the Ukrainians look into a claim — debunked as a conspiracy theory — about the 2016 U.S. election, a senior presidential aide said on Thursday, the first time the White House acknowledged such a connection.
Trump and administration officials had denied for weeks that they had demanded a "quid pro quo" - a Latin phrase meaning a favor for a favor - for delivering the U.S. aid, a key part of a controversy that has triggered an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives against the Republican president.
But Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff, acknowledged in a briefing with reporters that the U.S. aid — already approved by Congress — was held up partly over Trump's concerns about a Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer server alleged to be in Ukraine.
"I have news for everybody: Get over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign policy," Mulvaney said.