California National Guard plans on finding ways around Trump’s transgender troop ban

Ted Eytan via Flickr

The ban on transgender troops serving in the military went into effect on Friday (April 12).

The California National Guard has refused to implement Donald Trump’s ban on transgender troops serving in the military. The announcement came from Major General Matthew Beevers when he was talking with The Hill.

Speaking with them, he said that the gender identity of a serving troops was “the least of our concerns.” He added: “Every [transgender] soldier or airmen currently serving in the California National Guard will remain in our ranks. We will not treat any soldier or airmen any differently today, than we did yesterday.”

The Major General also said that the California National Guard would “explore every avenue to ensure that [transgender] people who want to serve in the California National Guard are afforded every opportunity to serve.”

He said: “Anybody who is willing and able to serve state [and] nation should have the opportunity to serve. It’s unconscionable in my mind that we would fundamentally discriminate against a certain class of people based on their gender identity.”

He added: “That should be the absolute least of our worries.”

However, he did note the difficulties in going against the ban, saying: “We’re compelled as military officers to follow the rules of the folks that are elected and appointed above us and we’ll continue to do that.”

But he added that they would “exercise every available avenue” in welcoming transgender troops in the National Guard.

The President of the United States first took to Twitter in 2017 to announce that anyone who identifies as trans will no longer be allowed to serve their country, citing “tremendous medical costs” and “disruption” by trans individuals.

Trump has claimed that the policy has support, but many, including those in the military have spoken out against it. In January, retired US general Stanley McChrystal said: “If we have people who want to serve, if they have the desire and capacity to serve, I think it’s a mistake to lose that talent.

“I also think it’s a mistake to send any message that says somebody with those attributes, the willingness and the capability to serve, not being welcome, is a negative message to send.”

McChrystal’s comments are similar to those of a top US general, Marine Corps General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who told a congressional committee that transgender troops should be allowed to serve.

“I believe any individual who meets the physical and mental standards, and is worldwide deployable and is currently serving, should be afforded the opportunity to continue to serve,” he said.

Related: The transgender military ban: How minorities can boost mission success

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