August 5, 2019

Incoming Chief Naval Officer Says Transgender Troops Have Not Harmed Navy

Strong Statement Undermines Rationale for Trump Ban

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – In prepared replies to questions by members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Vice Adm. Mike Gilday, whom the Senate just confirmed to become chief of naval operations, made some of the strongest remarks of any senior military officials indicating that open service by transgender troops has not harmed military readiness. “I am unaware of negative impacts on unit or overall Navy readiness as a result of transgender individuals serving in their preferred gender,” Gilday wrote. His reply echoed similar sentiment from all military chiefs of staff that personnel who had transitioned to their preferred gender had not damaged readiness.

Palm Center director Aaron Belkin said: “Vice Adm. Gilday’s statement undermines the primary rationale for Trump’s transgender ban, which is that those who need to transition gender threaten the readiness and cohesion of the force. Across three years of open service by transgender patriots—including by those who have transitioned—military leaders have found time and again that such service is fully consistent with military readiness. Once again, uniformed leaders have confirmed that the Trump ban is indefensible.”