WASHINGTON (AP/WCCO) — President Donald Trump says he will bar transgender individuals from serving “in any capacity” in the U.S. armed forces.
Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that after consulting with “Generals and military experts,” that the government “will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”
Trump added that “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.”
Transgender service members have been able to serve openly in the military since last year, when former Defense Secretary Ash Carter ended the ban.
Military chiefs recently announced a delay on allowing transgender people from enlisting. But transgender troops are already serving openly in the military.
A Rand study found there are between 2,500 and 7,000 transgender service members in the active duty military and up to 4,000 in the reserves.
Recently, WCCO’s Kim Johnson profiled two transgender soldiers serving locally.
Col. Kevin Olson, director of public affairs for the Minnesota National Guard, said there will be no immediate changes to transgender troops currently serving in the guard. They will wait for some official directive or policy guidelines from the Department of Defense.
Navy Captain Jeff Davis, a spokesman for the Department of Defense, released a statement on the decision.
“We will continue to work closely with the White House to address the new guidance provided by the Commander-in-Chief on transgender individuals serving the military. We will provide revised guidance to the Department in the near future,” the statement reads.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)