The Defense Department said Thursday that there will be “no modifications to the current policy” regarding transgender service in the United States military for the immediate future – until members within the department have given approval, according to Fox News.
A memo sent by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford, Jr. to various chiefs and commanders in the military expressed that there would be no changes to current policies until “the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidance.”
That authorization has not yet happened. The subtle indication is that President Trump, in his now controversial tweet, in which he declared that no transgender persons will be allowed to serve in the military, had not discussed the policy change with Defense Secretary James Mattis. Mattis is currently on vacation and was not aware of his tweet.
“In the meantime, we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect,” said Dunford. “As importantly, given the current fight and the challenges we face, we will all remain focused on accomplishing our assigned missions.”
Trump’s tweet is meant to reverse an Obama-era policy of allowing transgender troops to serve openly alongside their comrades. Trump’s tweet sought to end that policy:
“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow. … Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. 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. Thank you.”
The memorandum by Dunford suggests that Trump’s tweet, although decisive, may not ultimately matter – if his defense team decides otherwise. As of now, President Trump’s directive carries the weight of a public service announcement, experts told Fox News.
What do you think of this? To read about Trump’s controversial tweet and to hear how his daughter Ivanka Trump is facing difficulties because of it, click here.