The announcement was made via numerous tweets. As of now, President Trump refuses to offer additional details regarding the process of this implementation. The banning is a move that reverses the policy of former President Barack Obama, which was to loosen the restrictions that had been enforced on transgender people with regards to service in the armed forces of the US.
Trump’s move drew instant condemnation, especially from human rights groups. They called it as raw prejudice and said it only has a political motive behind it. As for Republicans and conservative activists, they said it was the right thing to do, and even praised the President for doing something about the “issue”.
"After consulting with military experts as well as with my Generals, the US government will no longer allow or accept transgender people in the country's military, in any capacity".
And later, he added: "The US military must focus on overwhelming and decisive victory. It can't be burdened with tremendous medical costs nor disrupted any further by transgender individuals. Thank you".
This new policy was announced after Jim Mattis, the Defense Secretary, said the US government reviewed the issue. Mattis claimed the Pentagon gave the military 6 months to conduct an assessment regarding the impact of transgender individuals in the military's lethality and readiness.
Gay rights group, Human Rights Campaign, estimated that at least 15,000 transgender troops that are actively serving will be affected by this new policy. Lawmakers and other Republicans blasted Trump’s sudden policy reversal.
"No American, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, should be prohibited the honor and privilege of getting the chance to serve the nation," said Republican Ros-Lehtinen in a tweet. Ros-Lehtinen has a son who’s also a transgender.
Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, said Trump’s announcement via Twitter is yet another case of why announcements of major policies shouldn't be done via social media accounts.
"The US Department of Defense already decided that it will not ban the transgender individuals who are already serving in the military, as many are currently serving honorably," said McCain.
"Those who can meet the readiness and current medical standards must be allowed to serve. There's no reason that's acceptable to justify forcing serving members to leave their current positions, especially when they can still deploy, train, and fight."
Senator Joni Ernst also criticized this current decision by President Trump. She served the Army National Guard of Iowa for 23 years, and was also deployed to Iraq and Kuwait. According to Ernst's spokeswoman, Ernst believes that taxpayers shouldn’t be the ones who'll pay the costs for a transgender's gender reassignment surgery. However, they should still be allowed to serve if qualified.