President Donald Trump said he will reverse former President Obama’s policy that allowed transgender troops to serve openly in the military.
WASHINGTON â Military leaders sought to reassure transgender troops Thursday that their jobs and health care are safe âÂ at least for now âÂ after President Trump’s tweetsÂ a day earlier that implied an immediateÂ end to both.
The Navy offered the most specific guidance, saying no transgender sailors will be discharged and the service will continue to provide health care for them, according to an email obtained by USA TODAY.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Joe Dunford, told all the service chiefs in a memo that there will be no changes in transgender policy until Defense Secretary Jim Mattis receives specific direction from the White House.
Yet administration officials said that guidance may be weeksÂ or even months away.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said there was no timetable to implement Trump’s tweets on Wednesday morning that declared transgender troops would not be welcome to serve in any capacity, and that the military would not pay for their medical treatment.Â
Military leaders acknowledged the tumult created by those tweets, and that they were blindsided by the announcement.
The Navy’s guidance, which came in an email from Vice Adm. Robert Burke, also acknowledges that Trump’s announcement is “causing concern for some of our sailors and that they likely have questions.”
What’s more, Burke indicates that Trump’sÂ tweets caught military brass unawares.Â
Burke notes that the office of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is…