We're two days shy of a month since President Trump tweeted that transgender people would no longer be allowed to serve in the military "in any capacity."
Trump hasn't said much about it since then (at least not on Twitter, anyway), leaving America to question whether the Pentagon would follow through with the ban and if so, how it would be carried out.
It looks like we might be getting answers soon.
The Wall Street Journal says it obtained a White House memo that gives instructions to the Pentagon on how to implement the ban.
The memo lists these directions for the Pentagon:
- Deny transgender people from enlisting.
- Permission for Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to kick current transgender troops out of the military based on the service member's ability to deploy.
- Stop paying for transgender troops' medical treatment regimens.
The two-and-a-half-page document gives Mattis six months to fully implement the ban. The paper reports the White House is expected to send its memo to the Pentagon in the coming days.
For now, the policy hasn't changed.
The last month
The president first announced the ban on Twitter in July.
“After consultations 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,” he tweeted.
An estimated 2,150 to 10,790 soldiers have been waiting to find out if those tweets will actually lead to a policy change that would have transgender troops discharged.
That includes Minnesotans like Capt. Tarrence Robertson, who has served for 11 years in the National Guard and works full time for the Guard's substance abuse program.
Robertson came out to his comrades last year after the Obama administration lifted the ban on transgender individuals serving in the military. The Obama administration had set a deadline of July 1, 2017, for the U.S. military to decide how to handle transgender recruits.
GoMN sat down will Robertson a couple weeks ago to address misconceptions about transgender soldiers:
Several other transgender veterans have spoken out against the proposed ban on social media.
And earlier this month, five transgender members of the U.S. military – including Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans – sued Trump, saying that the ban was made without consulting senior military commanders, Reuters reports.
After the Wall Street Journal reported on the leaked memo Wednesday night, VoteVets.org, a political organization that advocates for military families and education, tweeted the results of a recent poll that found the majority of Americans – no matter their political background – agree that if someone can do the job, they should be allowed to serve.
"There's NO reason for a transgender ban. Military isn't asking for it. Americans don't want it. This is about Trump embrace of hate. Period," VoteVets tweeted.
Hillary Clinton responded to that tweet on Thursday with one word: "Correct."