Transgender military ban; officials react - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Transgender military ban; officials react

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Great Falls - On Wednesday, in a series of tweets, President Trump announced transgender people will no longer be allowed to serve "in any capacity" in the U.S. Military. 

Right now, there are quite a few questions surrounding this announcement. 

One of the questions is 'how will transgender people be phased out of the military, and just how many transgender people are currently serving? 

One research organization called RAND estimates anywhere from 1300 to more than 6500 transgender individuals are in active service. Senator Jon Tester (D) says that the U.S. Military employs 15,000 transgender people.  However, this figure isn't more exact, because there is a lack of hard data on the topic of transgender personnel in the military.

Last year, former President Barack Obama announced transgender people could serve openly in the military.
in a matter of three tweets this morning, and sitting President Trump completely reversed that order.

"To openly call out one group of people who serve proudly who are standing on the front lines defending our country and saying because of how you identify and who you love, you are less worthy to carry a gun and wear a uniform, that's discriminatory," said Heather Smith, who is on the board for the LGBTQ Center in Great Falls. 

As for president trump's reasoning? He says medical costs are a big burden..and transgender people are causing a disruption in the military.

We spoke with Malmstrom's Command Chief, Chief Master Sergeant Amber Mitchell about the issue, and here's what she had to say:  "I also want to draw our attention to diversity and inclusion too so even though policy makers and our president, our commander in chief, have, they put certain things out, that doesn't mean that people in military aren't welcoming and compassionate to our Airmen," said Chief Mitchell.

We also reached out to Congressman Greg Gianforte, and Senator Daines and Senator Tester.

We also reached out to Congressman Greg Gianforte, and Senator Daines and Senator Tester.

Congressman Gianforte's spokesperson Travis Hall said that "Greg believes resources for our military should be dedicated to paying our service members well and making sure they have what they need to defend our country. He looks forward to seeing a fully developed policy from the commander in chief."

Senator Steve Daines (R) said "I respect the decision of the Commander in Chief." said Daines. 

Senator Jon Tester (D) said "Military decisions with major consequences should be left to the folks on the front lines and not subject to the whims of politics. Every service member and veteran who has sacrificed for our country deserves support, and now the President needs to focus on fighting ISIS and protecting Americans from nuclear threats from North Korea." 

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