Washington: Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Joseph Dunford said the Pentagon will wait until it is issued a new order to implement President Donald Trump’s decision to ban transgenders from serving in the US military.
There will be “no modifications to the current policy until the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defence and the Secretary has issued implementation guidelines”, Dunford wrote in a memo to the military on Thursday.
“In the meantime, we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect,” Dunford wrote, adding, “As importantly, given the current fight and the challenges we face, we will all remain focused on accomplishing our assigned missions.”
Trump on Wednesday announced on Twitter his decision to prohibit transgenders from serving “in any capacity” in the US Armed Forces, after having consulted with his “generals and military experts”, reports Efe news.
“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,” the President tweeted.
On Thursday, hundreds of demonstrators gathered in New York City, Washington, San Francisco and Portland to protest the ban.
The demonstrators carried anti-Trump signs and faced the White House as they chanted “Trans rights are human rights”.
Service in the US military was opened to transsexuals in June 2016 on Obama’s orders.
It is estimated that some 6,600 transgenders are serving in the Armed Forces, but their future in the military – along with the benefits they receive from their military service – is in limbo after Trump’s announcement.