The letter noted that Trump’s directive reversed course on “a closed issue.” Transgender service members have been allowed to serve openly in the military for the past year, and Secretary of Defense James Mattis said he would not reverse the transgender policy during his confirmation hearing in January.
As noted in the letter, the Joint Chiefs of Staff also disagreed with Trump’s decision, and on Thursday Chairman Joseph Dunford said the Pentagon would not take action to discharge any transgender service members based on the president’s tweet.
The attorneys general also pushed back against Trump’s claim that allowing transgender Americans to serve creates a financial burden for the military:
The RAND Corporation study cited in the letter found “only a 0.13-percent ($8.4 million out of $6.2 billion) increase in health care spending” for transgender troops’ medical needs.” According to a report by the Military Times, the military spends $84 million per year on medications for erectile dysfunction—10 times the cost of medical care for transgender service members.
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