Donald Trump says he will not allow transgender individuals to serve in the US military “in any capacity”. The US President revealed the decision after a “consultation” with armed forces chiefs.
It reverses plans put in place by Barack Obama’s administration to begin accepting transgender recruits, with transgender people expected to start enlisting this year.
Mr Obama’s defense secretary Ash Carter ended a ban on transgender people being able to serve openly in the army in June 2016.
An estimated 2,500 to 7,000 transgender people are already on active duty, with another 1,500 to 4,000 in America’s military reserves.
Since October, transgender troops have been able to receive medical care and begin formally changing their gender.
Up to 250 service members are believed to be in the process of transitioning to their preferred genders or been approved to formally change gender.
Mr Trump did not explain what would happen to those existing transgender people in the military, with those affected urged to contact lawyers by LGBT rights groups.
Announcing the move on Twitter, Mr Trump posted: “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 US 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.”
Last month, Mr Trump’s defence secretary James Mattis put a six-month delay on the acceptance of transgender recruits into the military.
Under Mr Obama’s plan, transgender recruits would have to have been “stable” in their preferred gender for 18 months.
Do you agree with Trump that transgender people should NOT be allowed to serve in the United States military?