This Admiral Is Standing Up To Trump’s Transgender Ban

A high-ranking admiral within the U.S. Coast Guard is choosing to defy President Donald Trump’s order to ban transgender soldiers and service members from serving in the military.

Admiral Paul Zukunft, upon learning of Trump’s tweet, said the first thing he did was reach out to members of the Coast Guard who openly identify as transgender, telling one member in particular, “I will not turn my back [on you]. We have made an investment in you, and you have made an investment in the Coast Guard, and I will not break faith.”

Indeed, the Pentagon itself is reportedly taking no direct action until it gets an official order from the president, determining that the tweet sent out by Trump didn’t authorize any change in policy.

Former President Barack Obama rescinded the military’s ban on transgender soldiers late in his administration. Since that time and up to now, thousands of soldiers and service personnel have been free to serve regardless of their gender identity.

Trump’s tweets made clear that he intended to end the right for soldiers to do so any longer, under the guise of consultation with his top military advisers.

Yet according to CNN, none of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, representing each of the branches of the military, ever consulted with the president about reinstating the ban, or recall having a conversation even remotely related to it. And none of them intend to do anything related to implementing Trump’s “Twitter orders” until they receive something more official.

“We will work through the implementation guidance when we get it and then we’ll move from there,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said at the time.

In other words, Trump may want to ban transgender personnel from serving. But until he sends a direct order, his tweets will not suffice as military directives, which is probably a good thing.



About the Author

Chris Walker
Chris Walker has been writing about political issues on a variety of sites for the past decade. He resides in Madison, Wisconsin. You can follow him on Twitter @thatchriswalker.