Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, who serves as the Chief Executive Officer of both the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps, has just openly voiced his displeasure for President Trump’s controversial statements banning transgenders from the military. It was a sign of open disregard for Trump.
If we know anything about Trump, it’s that he demands absolute loyalty. If he doesn’t get it, he just fires people. Looks like the new Secretary of the Navy just doesn’t care.
While visiting a naval base in Virginia on Thursday, Spencer made his views known that “any Patriot” should be allowed to still wear the uniform.
“As I said before, on a fundamental basis, any patriot that wants to serve and meets all the requirements should be able to serve in our military.”
The ironic thing about this is that Spencer was just confirmed by the Senate less than two weeks ago. And – he’s already standing up to Trump.
Also – on that same day – Trump told reporters that he thought he was “doing the military a great favor” by deciding to go ahead with the ban. Spencer and scours of other military professionals disagree.
The previous Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, also voiced his displeasure of Trump, saying the president was a “threat to America.”
“This latest Trump injustice is a threat to our military, a threat to our security, a threat to our standing in the world and a threat to the very idea of America,” Mabus wrote.
The head of Coast Guard, Adm. Paul F. Zukunft also said he wouldn’t listen to Trump, even if the policy did become binding. He made a statement earlier this month as well saying:
“I will not turn my back (on you). We have made an investment in you, and you have made an investment in the Coast Guard, and I will not break faith.”
Trump can’t fire them all.
Since Trump unofficially announced the policy, fifty-six retired U.S. generals, admirals, and other military officers, have come out publicly saying Trump’s claims about transgenders were “without merit.”
Here was their blistering statement against Trump:
“The Commander in Chief has tweeted a total ban of honorably serving transgender troops. This proposed ban, if implemented, would cause significant disruptions, deprive the military of mission-critical talent, and compromise the integrity of transgender troops who would be forced to live a lie, as well as non-transgender peers who would be forced to choose between reporting their comrades or disobeying policy. As a result, the proposed ban would degrade readiness even more than the failed ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy. Patriotic transgender Americans who are serving— and who want to serve—must not be dismissed, deprived of medically necessary health care, or forced to compromise their integrity or hide their identity.
“President Trump seeks to ban transgender service members because of the financial cost and disruption associated with transgender military service. We respectfully disagree, and consider these claims to be without merit. The RAND Corporation, as well as research in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the financial cost of providing health care to transgender troops would be, at most, $8.4 million per year. This amounts to one one-hundredth of one percent of the military’s annual health care budget. As for ostensible disruptions, transgender troops have been serving honorably and openly for the past year, and have been widely praised by commanders. Eighteen foreign nations, including the UK and Israel, allow transgender troops to serve, and none has reported any detriment to readiness.
“Recently, two former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have taken courageous stands in support of our transgender service members. General Martin Dempsey said of our transgender troops that, ‘The service of men and women who volunteer and who meet our standards of service is a blessing, not a burden.’
“And Admiral Mike Mullen stated that, ‘I led our armed forces under the flawed ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy and saw firsthand the harm to readiness and morale when we fail to treat all service members according to the same standards. Thousands of transgender Americans are currently serving in uniform and there is no reason to single out these brave men and women and deny them the medical care that they require. The military conducted a thorough research process on this issue and concluded that inclusive policy for transgender troops promotes readiness.’ Admiral Mullen urged civilian leaders ‘to respect the military’s judgment and not to breach the faith of service members who defend our freedoms.’ We could not agree more.”
Trump is seeking to permanently undo President Obama’s decision to allow transgenders from serving openly in the military but has since not provided official direction to the Department of Defense on how to implement the new policy. Despite the pushback from the military, Trump sounds committed to banning transgenders from serving.