Each morning when I wake, I hit social media and the news. Sharing something profound or humorous is how I like to start my day. Believe me when I tell you, I was in complete shock when I read a series of tweets by President Donald Trump.
There are so many unanswered questions right now. The Department of Defense is part of the Executive branch. In addition, as head of the Executive branch and Commander-in-chief of the military, I can only assume that Donald Trump does have the power to make policy. However, his Twitter statement is so broad as to defy a narrow interpretation. For instance ”...will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.” Does he also mean that government employees that support the military will lose their job? Does this mean that private contractors that employ transgender people will have to let those people go?
Moreover, ”...cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs...” is a complete misrepresentation of reality. Currently, the Williams Institute estimates the number of transgender service members at 15,000, while the RAND Corporation estimates the number to be 1,320-6,630 and estimates increased medical costs for transgender soldiers to be 2.4-8.4 million dollars.
However, if 6,630 soldiers are involuntarily separated, the cost to replace them will be tremendous. According to a 2002 study by the Lexington Institute, the cost to recruit, train, and equip a marine was around $45,000 while the cost to do the same for a West Point graduate fighter pilot was around $340,000. If you were to assume they all cost the same as a marine, that would work out to $298,350,000. It would appear that the cost burden to retain transgender soldiers is much, much less. In addition, the new recruits will not have the years of experience the transgender soldiers already have. Read more via HuffPost