Transgender members of the military have come out fighting after President Donald Trump’s claimed they would no longer be allowed to serve in the US army.
POTUS announced his administration would roll back the Obama-era policy in a series of Tweets Wednesday catching everyone off guard – even the Pentagon. While the authorities struggle to provide any information about the new policy decision, the Transgender community swiftly kicked into action.
Shane Ortega, a retired Army sergeant who became the first openly transgender solider, called Trump nothing but a privileged “draft dodger”.
In response to the news, he told Mic: “Trump is a man who is literally a war-dodger, who comes from a life of privilege and silver spoon, who has no connection to reality whatsoever, and I don’t know how much more the American public needs to see that.”
The Trans right campaigner added: “What more will it take for people in this country to become really outraged?”
Trump has been labelled a “draft dodger” after infamously receiving five deferments from the draft during the Vietnam War including one for having a bad foot. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also mentioned Trump’s service record when condemning the news.
“President Trump’s attack on Americans who want to step up and make incredible sacrifice to serve our country is disgusting, and it’s made worse by the political calculation behind it. Every Republican should speak out against it,” DCCC communications director Meredith Kelly said in a statement.
“President Trump is a draft dodger and if he wants to talk about 2018, we’ve got dozens of veteran candidates who have already shown what it looks like to step up and serve our country to keep us safe, and are ready to do it again in Congress.”
Another who had some stern words for the President was Staff Sergeant Logan Ireland, of the Air Force, who vowed to keep serving.
Ireland told the Air Force Times: “I would like to see them try to kick me out of my military. You are not going to deny me my right to serve my country when I am fully qualified and able and willing to give my life.”
“We have pilots, we have doctors, we have combat medics, we have security forces members like myself.
“We are everywhere in the military, and for our president to not have a military member’s back that is willing to die for him blows my mind. And it just makes me very motivated today to continue my training.”
— Militia Etheridge (@MaryEmilyOHara) July 26, 2017
While there are no solid numbers of how many transgender people are currently serving in the military, estimates have been placed between 6,000 to 15,000.
Trump’s decision to publicly announce the policy, before military personnel had been informed, has been heavily criticized. Vietnam Veteran Senator John McCain strongly condemned the news and for using Twitter to do it.
Trump claimed that he had consulted with his “Generals and military experts” to make the decision, writing on Twitter that “the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”
Blaming funding, he continued: “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”