The US Coast Guard is “committed” to allowing transgender people to serve unless they are explicitly barred, its leader has said.
The decision was reportedly made without consultation with military chiefs or legal experts, and the policy has been repeatedly smacked down in the courts.
Last month, Trump moved to ban most trans servicepeople by stating that “transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria… are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances.”
But Commandant Admiral Paul Zukunft told lawmakers on Tuesday that he would not stop any trans person from serving until he was ordered to do so, Politico has reported.
“We will make sure that there is one policy for all service members.”
At least 17 of the Coast Guard’s 40,000 members on active duty identify as trans, according to the commandant, who said that figure included one of his personal staff.
Zukunft said that he was talking to senior figures from all five of the other branches of the military about how to respond to Trump’s ongoing attempts to institute a trans ban.