Coast Guard commander vows to stand by transgender personnel

Coast Guard Commandant Paul Zukunft has promised not to "break faith" with transgender personnel after President Trump tweeted his announcement last week that he intends to ban all transgender individuals from military service "in any capacity."
By Alex Bourque | Aug 04, 2017
Coast Guard Commandant Paul Zukunft has promised not to "break faith" with transgender personnel after President Trump tweeted his announcement last week that he intends to ban all transgender individuals from military service "in any capacity."

Speaking Tuesday to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank, Zukunft said he reached out to all 13 transgender members of the Coast Guard after Trump's tweets and talked specifically about Coast Guard Lt. Taylor Miller.

"I told Taylor I will not turn my back," Zukunft said, as reported by CNN. "We have made an investment in you and you have made an investment in the Coast Guard, and I will not break faith."

The U.S. military is uncertain how the president's directive will be implemented.

Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said Monday that the Defense Department is still waiting for a formal order beyond the president's tweets.

"What you saw in the form of a tweet was representative of an announcement, that doesn't result in any immediate policy changes for us," Davis told reporters. "We will await formal direction."

According to Davis, Trump's tweets are the only guidance the Pentagon has so far received on the transgender ban.

"We are now in the process of waiting for that to be formally articulated to us in a policy memo and we'll be standing by to make that happen, until then [we] don't have anything on it," Davis said.

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