Twenty-six retired military officers oppose President Trump's latest ban on transgender people serving in the military.
They wrote in their statement:
The administration’s announcement on the treatment of transgender service members is a troubling move backward. There is simply no reason to single out brave transgender Americans who can meet military standards and deny them the ability to serve.
And Twitter users largely agreed:
They are correct. These men and women want to serve their country. And as an American I applaud that. If trump feels threatened that is his problem.— Lenny (@dieselx50) March 28, 2018
For every individual who wears—or has ambition to wear—the military uniform of the United States, the only standard that matters is how they serve. With honor. With commitment. With discipline.— Steven Kleinman (@SMKleinman) March 27, 2018
Who they love and the gender they present is immaterial.
Just plain horrible that Trump needs to keep on discriminating Americans that serve to defend our country together. Posted on my facebook page. ❤️Pamela & Walter— Pamela Lewis (@PamelaL51928414) March 28, 2018
Trump's Friday memo detailed the new ban, which is not yet in effect. It will prevent most transgender people from serving in the military with very few extenuating exceptions. Many argue the ban mirrors "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
The military retirees addressed this in their statement. They said:
Many of us personally experienced the belated removal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and faced firsthand how that mistaken policy set back our force and enabled discrimination against patriotic gay and lesbian Americans. We learned a clear lesson: the singling out of one group of service members for unequal treatment harms military readiness, while inclusion supports it.
Some commenters were dumbfounded:
TG are: 1. Human Beings. 2. Tax-paying American Citizens. 3. Children of God/Universe. 4. They have the same rights as everybody else. Anything else is discrimination. Everyone, according to the Constitution, has "the right to life, liberty, and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS"— No more BS!🇺🇸 (@Edu4Progress) March 28, 2018
Others cut right to the heart of the matter:
Trump received five deferments during the Vietnam War. Four were for education, but once he graduated college and became eligible for the draft he was diagnosed with bone spurs, which resulted in a medical deferment.
Some Twitter users took the opportunity to point this out:
Amazing he can go after those willing to put their lives on the line for this country when he himself was too afraid to even enlist...BONE SPURS, really?!? It’s hard enough to get Americans to serve so why turn away these volunteers?— (((BJ Starr2))) (@BJStarr2) March 27, 2018
There's one easy solution, if it were only that simple:
The statement included signatures from the following notable officers:
Retired Vice Adm. Donald Arthur, former surgeon general of the Navy; retired Vice Adm. Kevin Green, former deputy chief of naval operations for operations, plans and policy; retired Lt. Gen. Arlen Jameson, former deputy commander in chief of U.S. Strategic Command; and retired Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy, the first Army women to achieve a three-star rank and a former Army deputy chief of staff for intelligence.