Published: Thu, September 28, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Transgender troops shouldn't be kicked out of military, Gen. Dunford says

Transgender troops shouldn't be kicked out of military, Gen. Dunford says

The Pentagon's top uniformed officer said Tuesday that he believes gender identity is not a credible reason to discharge transgender service members from the military, an opinion that puts him odds with President Trump.

Testifying before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his reappointment to the top Pentagon post, Dunford was asked about recent military assessments of Kim Jong-un's ability to threaten the USA with nuclear weapons.

On transgender soldiers - which are now in limbo as the Pentagon reviews the issue - Dunford said, "I do", when asked if he believed that trans soldiers have served with honor and valor by Democratic Sen.

"When asked by Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) whether he can promise that now serving transgender troops will not be separated based exclusively on their gender identity, Dunford said that's been his advice as the Pentagon reviews its transgender policy".

"We are also confronted by al-Qaida, [the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] and other transnational terrorist organizations", Dunford said.

McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has co-sponsored a bipartisan bill to stop the proposed ban.

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"The Russians, Chinese, and others are doing what I describe as conducting competition at a level that falls below conflict", Dunford said.

In a surprising break with both service traditions and the White House, Dunford told the panel that he believes transgender troops already in uniform should be allowed to remain in the service. President Barack Obama had tapped Dunford for the job.

On Monday, however, White House officials said Trump did not seek to overthrow North Korea's government and called the foreign minister's assertion that Trump's comment amounts to a declaration of war absurd.

Trump's ban on trans soldiers in the military continues to face heavy opposition. "What I've just articulated is the advice I've provided in private, and I've just provided in public". The Defense Department has declined to release specific information about how many troops are now receiving medical treatment - such as hormone therapy or gender-reassignment surgery - for gender dysphoria.

Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Ryan: Graham-Cassidy "best, last chance" to repeal ObamaCare Collins skeptical of new ObamaCare repeal effort MORE (R-Maine) have introduced a bill that would block Trump's transgender ban by prohibiting the Pentagon from involuntarily separating or denying the re-enlistment of transgender troops exclusively on the basis of gender identity.

Advocates for transgender rights took Dunford's statement as a "huge" win and even a "rebuke" of Trump. "I will fix the mess", said Trump.

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