August 1, 2017

Fifty-Six Retired Generals and Admirals Warn That President Trump’s Anti-Transgender Tweets, If Implemented, Would Degrade Military Readiness

Click here for media coverage of the statement

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Fifty-six* retired General and Flag Officers provided the following statement to the Palm Center today:

“The Commander in Chief has tweeted a total ban of honorably serving transgender troops. 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. 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 servingand who want to servemust not be dismissed, deprived of medically necessary health care, or forced to compromise their integrity or hide their identity.

 “President Trump seeks to ban transgender service members because of the financial cost and disruption associated with transgender military service. We respectfully disagree, and consider these claims to be without merit. The RAND Corporation, as well as research in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the financial cost of providing health care to transgender troops would be, at most, $8.4 million per year. This amounts to one one-hundredth of one percent of the military’s annual health care budget. As for ostensible disruptions, transgender troops have been serving honorably and openly for the past year, and have been widely praised by commanders. Eighteen foreign nations, including the UK and Israel, allow transgender troops to serve, and none has reported any detriment to readiness.

 “Recently, two former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have taken courageous stands in support of our transgender service members. General Martin Dempsey said of our transgender troops that, ‘The service of men and women who volunteer and who meet our standards of service is a blessing, not a burden.’

 “And Admiral Mike Mullen stated that, ‘I led our armed forces under the flawed ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy and saw firsthand the harm to readiness and morale when we fail to treat all service members according to the same standards. Thousands of transgender Americans are currently serving in uniform and there is no reason to single out these brave men and women and deny them the medical care that they require. The military conducted a thorough research process on this issue and concluded that inclusive policy for transgender troops promotes readiness.’ Admiral Mullen urged civilian leaders ‘to respect the military’s judgment and not to breach the faith of service members who defend our freedoms.’ We could not agree more.

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)

Rear Admiral Sandra Adams, 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)


*A 57th Officer, Rear Admiral Sandra Smith, signed this statement after its initial publication.