The White House is preparing to send a memo to the Pentagon, giving the Defense Department "formal autority to expel transgender people from the military." This order will also prevent the Pentagon from recruiting transgender troops. It will also stop any troops currently receiving sexual reassignment surgeries and medical treatments.
Although the order has yet to be approved, it will allow Jim Mattis, the secretary of defense, the authority to "force out transgender service members by setting a legal standard." This standard will determine whether or not the troops can be deployed to war zones or other "lengthy military missions."
Mattis will have six months to enforce President Trump's transgender ban. The ban took many by surprise after it was announced via a series of tweets from the Commander-in-Cheif. According to The New York Times, the order-by-social media "short-circuited the customary interangency policy process" that usually accompanies such decisions.
When questioned on Wednesday about the president's plans to move forward with the ban, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to comment.
"It is unconscionable that the commander in chief would take aim at his own, loyally serving troops for political reasons at a time when the military needs to focus on real threats," said Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, an institute that has helped the military with research on its transgender admittance policy.
"Imposing one set of stadards for transgender troops, and another set of standards for everyone else is a recipe for disruption, distraction and waste," he continued.
Twitter and America were given no warning before Trump tweeted that American forces could not afford "the tremendous medical costs and disruption" caused by transgender troops and service members.
While the president claimed to have been in communication with generals and military experts, Mattis said he was only given a day's notice about Trump's decision.
Members on both sides of the party line have "roundly denounced" the transgender ban, arguing that if someone wants to fight for their country, their sexual orientation should not be a factor.