Last month, Donald Trump attempted to change military policy in regards to transgender soldiers. Specifically, he stated that they would be banned from serving in the military. This, Of course, was done via Twitter with no actual policy directives being sent to the Pentagon — at least yet. Trump this week still seemed adamant on the policy, saying he was “doing the military a great favor” by banning transgender troops:
“I have great respect for the community,” Trump said from his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. “I think I’ve had great support, or I’ve had great support from that community. I got a lot of votes. It’s been a very complicated issue for the military, it’s been a very confusing issue for the military, and I think I’m doing the military a great favor.”
His tweets and statements have spurred two lawsuits by LGBTQ groups thus far. The pushback is coming from other places than the LGBTQ or progressive communities. At least two current military leaders have made statements that don’t exactly agree with what the president is trying to do.
Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft has pledged not to “break faith” with his transgender service members.
Yesterday, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer spoke to reporters after visiting a Virginia Naval Base. Spencer would not say that he would defy the order if issued, but like Zukunft, did not seem to be on board with the “great favor” Trump is proposing:
“We will process and take direction of a policy that is developed by the [Defense] secretary [with] direction from the president and march out smartly.” Spencer added, “On a fundamental basis, any patriot that wants to serve and meets all the requirements should be able to serve in our military.”
In other words, Trump is doing no one a favor by banning transgender soldiers. There is no “confusion” with people actually in the military by most accounts. Trump claimed the “tremendous medical costs” of transgender soldiers when tweeting his ban, though reports have shown that the Pentagon spends 15 times as much on erectile dysfunction.
Spencer is correct. Anyone who wants to serve, and meets the requirements, should be able to serve. That is what America is all about.
See the interview below:
Featured image via screen capture via youtube.com