Joint Chiefs Say There Will Be No Change to Transgender Policy

Despite the president’s tweets, they say “no modifications” will take place—yet.

Ron Sachs/ZUMA

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In a message to commanding military officers Thursday, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said there will be “no modifications” in the military’s policy allowing transgender people to serve in the military until the president issues specific direction to the secretary of defense. Until then, General Joseph Dunford said, officers will continue to “treat all personnel with respect.”

“There will be no modifications to the current policy until the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidance,” the letter read.

The letter comes a day after President Donald Trump declared through his Twitter account that he could no longer “allow” the army to permit transgender individuals in military service in any capacity, questioning the burden of “the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender [soldiers] in the military would entail.” The Department of Defense was reportedly blindsided by the announcement, which reverses the Pentagon’s decision last year to lift the long-standing ban. 

Trump’s tweets sparked widespread condemnation from civil rights groups and Democratic lawmakers. The president has repeatedly boasted of being a friend to the LGBT community and vowed to champion their rights.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

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Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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