President Trump may be a big fan of meddling, but the nation’s military leaders aren’t. Personnel policy is deadly serious to them and they’re making clear that even a commander in chief can’t make policy decisions on the fly without any consultation with the Joint Chiefs of Staff—the people charged with implementing those policy changes.
The military’s policy permitting transgender individuals to serve remains in place, the country’s highest military officer said on Thursday, clarifying some of the confusion surrounding President Trump’s announcement on Twitter that transgender people will no longer be accepted or allowed in the military
In a letter to the military service chiefs, Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that the policy on who is allowed to serve will not change until the White House sends the Defense Department a rules change and the secretary of defense issues new guidelines.
“In the meantime, we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect,” General Dunford said in the letter, first reported by Reuters. “As importantly, given the current fight and the challenges we face, we will all remain focused on accomplishing our assigned missions.”
If there’s one thing the military—more than any other branch of our government—despises, it’s chaos. Rapid-fire policy changes fan the flames of chaos and that can literally cost lives in combat zones.
Commander-in-chief has been pushing Congressional Republicans to run around. That’s all good, but the military isn’t having it. Make no mistake: Military leadership just looked Trump in the eye and flipped him the bird until he can get his act together to act like a responsible human being. It could be a very long wait.