As a retired U.S. Army officer, United States citizen, business CEO, longtime Republican, and a transgender woman, I strongly disagree with President Trump’s statement regarding transgender people being barred from serving in the military in any capacity. I have already reached out to him and expressed my disappointment and offered my help to find a better solution than barring transgender citizens from serving in the Armed Forces. As Commander in Chief, the President has authority to influence policy of who serves in the Armed Forces of the United States. More than one Surgeon General, several Generals and Admirals, and exhaustive studies have proven that service by transgender personnel will not harm combat readiness, morale or discipline and that it will impose no significant financial burden on the defense budget.
The statement by President Trump contradicts what we already know about transgender personnel serving in the Armed Forces. There are thousands of transgender veterans and those currently serving who have made enormous personal sacrifice to serve their country by subordinating their personal identities to service to our nation. Virtually all of them have served and are serving honorably and many with distinction and heroism. I would like to personally thank all of the men and women who serve our nation, regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. I also urge President Trump to reconsider his position.