After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
....Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
....victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
Trump said the surprise decision came after consulting with "generals and military experts," but he didn't identify anyone by name.
Transgender people have been allowed to serve openly in the military since last year. In June 2016, then-Secretary of Defense Ash Carter lifted the ban on transgender service members. As reported by NPR, Carter said the allowance came about because "the Defense Department and the military need to avail ourselves of all talent possible in order to remain what we are now—the finest fighting force the world has ever known."
According to Carter, researchers estimated that "about 25,000 people out of approximately 825,000 reserve servicemembers are transgender, with the upper end of their range of estimates of around 7,000 in the active component and 4,000 in the reserves."
Social media reactions to the proposed ban are already starting to roll in, from celebrities to entities created to protect LGBTQ and human rights.
Trolling at its finest from a man who's never served & shown up the way trans servicefolk have & are https://t.co/r8f6vW2N4J— Janet Mock (@janetmock) July 26, 2017
no. My God. This must be challenged. https://t.co/H9DBE4cmK7— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) July 26, 2017
His admin. will stop at nothing to implement its anti-LGBTQ ideology - even if it means denying some of our bravest the right to serve.— GLAAD (@glaad) July 26, 2017
Threatening 15K currently serving troops who put their lives at risk is unpatriotic and dangerous. https://t.co/gOkrmfflbl— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) July 26, 2017
One person pointed out that this move goes against a promise Trump made during his campaign.
Let's not forget -- During the campaign, Donald Trump promised transgender Americans "I will fight for you" https://t.co/0PptiSZ3XZ— Steven Greenhouse (@greenhousenyt) July 26, 2017
Former U.S. Army soldier and trans woman Chelsea Manning, one of the most qualified to speak on the issue, added a pointed perspective.
so, biggest baddest most $$ military on earth cries about a few trans people 😩 but funds the F-35? 😑 sounds like cowardice 😎💕🌈 #WeGotThis— Chelsea E. Manning (@xychelsea) July 26, 2017
Other famous trans Americans, including Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox, expressed their anger over Trump's declaration.
There are 15,000 patriotic transgender Americans in the US military fighting for all of us. What happened to your promise to fight for them? https://t.co/WzjypVC8Sr— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) July 26, 2017
To all the trans folks currently serving in the military thank you for your service. I am sorry your "commander in chief" doesn't value it.— Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) July 26, 2017
Tuesday afternoon, Kim Kardashian shared her thoughts:
Only time will tell how the President plans to ultimately implement the ban.