It is still uncertain how this recent policy change will affect the thousands of transgender service members now serving in our military, but Democratic club members worry that this signals a reversal towards the days of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".
Marine Gen. Joe Dunford also told the chiefs of the military branches and senior enlisted leaders that the military will continue to "treat all of our personnel with respect".
"There will be no modifications to the current policy until the president's direction has been received by the secretary of defence and the secretary has issued implementation guidance", Dunford wrote in a letter. But transgender troops are already serving openly in the military. Thousands of transgender Americans serve in uniform today.
Far more US citizens think transgender service members should be allowed in the army than do not, according to a new survey.
These concerns should be fully resolved before our country goes forward with any change in long-standing policy.
The July 26-28 poll suggested that the country largely disagrees with President Donald Trump's announcement this week that he will ban transgender personnel from the armed forces. His decision was announced in such a hurry that basic questions remained unanswered like what would happen to openly transgender people who are on active duty.
Supporters of Trump's ban are likely to point to another survey though that seems to show that Americans agree with the president.
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The nation's top military officer says US policy on transgender individuals serving in uniform has not - and will not - change until Defense Secretary Jim Mattis receives the president's policy direction and Mattis determines how to implement it.
On June 30, Mattis extended the July 1 deadline to next January 1, saying the services should study the impact on the "readiness and lethality of our forces".
Trump's stated goal is to prevent disorder among the ranks. In fact, according to another Rasmussen poll released yesterday, the country is evenly divided when asked if they agree with Trump's statement that "our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and can not be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail". In fact, Trump appears to have made his decision hastily, interrupting an ongoing Pentagon review and taking key military and congressional players by surprise. This is not about readiness or a strong military. We support you and all service members and veterans.
The legal questions raised by President Trump's statements present a key concern for many - especially those now serving in the military. "It would harm our readiness by denying the military of these service members' capabilities and requiring the military to replace them at a time when the recruiting pool for the services continues to shrink".
"I think that this sounds a lot like when we had people of color who wanted to serve, women, or gays and lesbians who wanted to serve", she said.
The Justice Department also tried to slap down the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - the federal agency that looks to stop workplace discrimination - stating that "the EEOC is not speaking for the United States".