Individual Rights

Coast Guard commandant signals he will resist Trump's military transgender ban

The commandant of the Coast Guard said Tuesday he will not "break faith" with transgender members following President Trump's tweets about a total ban on their service in the military.

Adm. Paul Zukunft said his first call after hearing of the ban last week was to one of 13 Coast Guardsmen who have come out as transgender under the Pentagon's year-old policy of open service.

"We have made an investment in you and you have made an investment in the Coast Guard and I will not break faith," Zukunft said, recounting the conversation during a talk at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "And so, that is the commitment to our people right now."

In the wake of Trump's announcement, the admiral said his second call about the transgender ban was to retired Gen. John Kelly, then the director of Homeland Security, and then Kelly contacted Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

The Coast Guard then set up a "tiger team" of legal expert officers from the Judge Advocate General's Corps to deal with the situation.

 

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