QUEER VOICES
08/01/2017 01:20 pm ET Updated Aug 01, 2017

56 Retired U.S. Generals And Admirals Blast Trump's Military Trans Ban

“[It] would cause significant disruptions, deprive the military of mission-critical talent, and compromise the integrity of transgender troops."

Fifty-six retired U.S. generals and admirals slammed President Donald Trump’s ban against transgender individuals serving in the military on Tuesday.

The highly-decorated officials voiced their displeasure with Trump’s new policy, which he made known in a series of tweets on July 26, via a letter sent to The Palm Center, an independent research institute.

“This proposed ban, if implemented, would cause significant disruptions, deprive the military of mission-critical talent, and compromise the integrity of transgender troops who would be forced to live a lie, as well as non-transgender peers who would be forced to choose between reporting their comrades or disobeying policy,” the letter, also sent to HuffPost, reads. “As a result, the proposed ban would degrade readiness even more than the failed ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy. Patriotic transgender Americans who are serving— and who want to serve—must not be dismissed, deprived of medically necessary health care, or forced to compromise their integrity or hide their identity.”

The generals and admirals also lashed out at Trump’s claims that allowing trans people to serve in the military would be both a “disruption” and a financial burden.

The letter also notes that “transgender troops have been serving honorably and openly for the past year, and have been widely praised by commanders” and that 18 other nations allow trans troops “and none has reported any detriment to readiness.”

“These retired generals and admirals have made it clear exactly how harmful President Trump’s transgender military ban would be to our nation’s armed forces,” Stephen Peters, HRC National Press Secretary and Marine veteran, wrote in an email. “President Trump’s and Vice President Pence’s attack on bravely serving transgender troops is dangerous and unpatriotic. They absolutely must listen to these voices of reason and reverse course in support of ALL of our nation’s heroes, regardless of their gender identity.”

Commandant Paul Zukunft, the head of the U.S. Coastguard, also weighed in on the ban on Tuesday. He told the Center for Strategic and International Studies forum, “I told [a transgender military member] I will not turn my back... We have made an investment in you and you have made an investment in the Coast Guard, and I will not break faith.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, The White House had still not provided any kind of clear guidance to The Pentagon on implementing Trump’s ban, which some experts say may not even be legal

A full list of the signees of the letter appears below:

General John R. Allen, USMC (Retired)
General Robert W. Sennewald, USA (Retired)
Vice Admiral Donald Arthur, USN (Retired)
Lieutenant General Robert Gard, USA (Retired)
Lieutenant General Walter Gaskin, USMC (Retired)
Vice Admiral Kevin P. Green, USN (Retired)
Lieutenant General Arlen D. Jameson, USAF (Retired)
Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy, USA (Retired)
Lieutenant General Willie Williams, USMC (Retired)
Major General Juan G. Ayala, USMC (Retired)
Major General Donna Barbisch, USA (Retired)
Rear Admiral Chris Cole, USN (Retired)
Major General Vance Coleman, USA (Retired)
Major General J. Gary Cooper, USMC (Retired)
Major General Paul Eaton, USA (Retired)
Major General Mari K. Eder, USA (Retired)
Rear Admiral F. Stephen Glass, USN (Retired)
Major General Richard S. Haddad, USAF (Retired)
Major General Irv Halter, USAF (Retired)
Rear Admiral Jan Hamby, USN (Retired)
Major General Marcelite J. Harris, USAF (Retired)
Rear Admiral John Hutson, JAGC, USN (Retired)
Major General James R. Klugh, Sr., USA (Retired)
Major General Dennis Laich, USA (Retired)
Major General Randy Manner, USA (Retired)
Major General Dee Ann McWilliams, USA (Retired)
Major General John Phillips, USAF (Retired)
Major General Dana J.H. Pittard, USA (Retired)
Major General Gale Pollock, CRNA, FACHE, FAAN, USA (Retired)
Rear Admiral Harold Robinson, USN (Retired)
Major General Patricia Rose, USAF (Retired)
Rear Admiral Alan Steinman, USPHS/USCG (Retired)
Major General Antonio Taguba, USA (Retired)
Major General Peggy Wilmoth, PhD, MSS, RN, FAAN, USA (Retired)
Major General Maggie Woodward, USAF (Retired)
Rear Admiral Dick Young, USN (Retired)
Brigadier General Clara Adams-Ender, USA (Retired)
Brigadier General Ricardo Aponte, USAF (Retired)
Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett, USN (Retired)
Brigadier General David Brahms, USMC (Retired)
Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (Retired)
Brigadier General Julia Cleckley, USA (Retired)
Rear Admiral Jay DeLoach, USN (Retired)
Brigadier General John Douglass, USAF (Retired)
Brigadier General Evelyn “Pat” Foote, USA (Retired)
Brigadier General Judy M. Griego, NMANG (Retired)
Brigadier General David R. Irvine, USA (Retired)
Brigadier General John H. Johns, USA (Retired)
Rear Admiral Gene Kendall, USN (Retired)
Brigadier General Thomas Kolditz, PhD, USA (Retired)
Brigadier General Carlos E. Martinez, USAF (Retired)
Brigadier General Ronald Rokosz, USA (Retired)
Brigadier General John M. Schuster, USA (Retired)
Rear Admiral Michael E. Smith, USN (Retired)
Brigadier Paul Gregory Smith, USA (Retired)
Brigadier General Marianne Watson, USA (Retired)

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