Under the Radar

Sound Off: Do You Support the Military's Transgender Ban?

President Donald J. Trump used his personal Twitter account on Wednesday to announce plans to reinstate a ban on transgender service "in any capacity" in the US armed forces.

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Let's leave aside his choice to say "my Generals" instead of "our country's Generals" or "America's Generals" and get to the issue.

Former Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced a policy to lift a ban on transgender service in June 2016. One year later, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis delayed implementation of the policy for another six months. Less than a month later, President Trump made his surprise announcement.

A 2016 study estimates that there are between 1,320 and 6,630 transgendered troops currently serving on active duty, which amounts to between 0.1 percent and 0.5 percent of the 1.3 million-member active component, and between 830 and 4,160 in the Selected Reserve. It's unclear whether these people will be dismissed immediately under the new policy.

A new Washington Post story cites the same report and claims that "the military spends five times as much on Viagra as it would on transgender troops’ medical care."

Sen. John McCain said Trump's tweet "is yet another example of why major policy announcements should not be made via Twitter."

Noted Trump supporter Caitlyn Jenner has some different numbers at her disposal, but she's also unhappy with the president.

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Former Navy SEAL Kristin Beck sure thinks that President Trump is making a mistake.

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(Read our 2014 interview with Beck here).

Gay and lesbian service members seem to be no big deal at this point. Do you think transgender people pose a different problem? Or does the fact that so many are already serving suggest that their gender isn't really an issue. Do you approve of President Trump's decision or his way of announcing it? Sound off!

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