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Joint Chiefs: ‘No Modification’ to Transgender Policy Until Trump Sends Pentagon Direction

Joint Chiefs: ‘No Modification’ to Transgender Policy Until Trump Sends Pentagon Direction

“We will all remain focused on accomplishing our assigned missions.”,_Jr._(CMC).jpg

Marine Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has announced that the military will not change its transgender policy until President Donald Trump sends the Pentagon direction on changes and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis implements it. From Politico:

“I know there are questions about yesterday’s announcement on the transgender policy by the President,” Dunford wrote in the message, a copy of which was provided to POLITICO. “There will be no modifications to the current policy until the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidance.”

“In the meantime, we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect. As importantly, given the current fight and the challenges we face, we will all remain focused on accomplishing our assigned missions,” he continued.

On Wednesday, Trump announced via Twitter that after he consulted with generals and military experts, the government decided not to accept or all transgender people since the military “cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption.”

As CBS News points out, Dunford’s “statement suggests that Mattis was given no presidential direction on changing the transgender policy.”

A U.S. official also said that Dunford did not know that Trump planned to announce the new policy on Wednesday. From CNN:

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not have an answer Wednesday on what would happen to active transgender military members but said the White House and the Defense Department would work together “as implementation takes place and is done so lawfully.”

But how those next steps would play out still remains unclear.

The Pentagon has asked the White House for a written directive spelling out its intentions and directions on transgender policy so the military can now begin implementing guidance, according to a defense official with direct knowledge.

A main issue now is whether currently serving members will be discharged and whether they will receive an honorable discharge so they can continue to receive whatever medical and retiree benefits they are entitled to based on their years of service, a defense official said.

From Politico:

Dru Brenner-Beck, a retired Army judge advocate general and president of the National Institute for Military Justice, told POLITICO Wednesday said that under normal procedure the president would issue an executive order instructing the Pentagon to go about changing the department’s personnel policy — but only after Defense Department officials coordinated with various parts of the military and weighed in on the proposed changes in the draft order.

Brenner-Beck said its even legally questionable whether a declaration from the president’s personal social media account is enough to launch the process of rewriting Pentagon regulations, calling it “a whole new frontier.”

“A tweet doesn’t really give you policy,” she said. “How do you implement a tweet? Usually you would have some kind of an actual policy document that comes down.”


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You mean Mr. Management, who’d “discussed this with my generals”, DID NOT send them clear directives PRIOR to barfing out the tweets he did…??? (And catching his own SecDef flat-footed.)

Gorsh. I’m astounded…

    rdmdawg in reply to Ragspierre. | July 27, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Anyone, especially those associated with the military, had to have seen this coming, else they aren’t really qualified to be associated with the military.

    If Trump truly did catch the SecDef “flat-footed” with this announcement, as you say, then he has no business being our Secretary of Defense. The “transgender” policy, frankly, was insane.

      Ragspierre in reply to rdmdawg. | July 27, 2017 at 3:04 pm

      The merits of the policy are not part of the issue here, dawg.

      You seem to have a real clear image of “reading my mind” as a T-rump cabinet member prerequisite .

      Three questions:

      1. in what branch of the military did you serve?

      2. where did you learn about management?

      3. how successful has your demand that people around you read your mind proven?

      Ragspierre in reply to rdmdawg. | July 27, 2017 at 4:05 pm

      So, dawg, you think your subordinates should have read your mind in the USAF?

      Wow. I NEVER had anything like that kind of expectation in the army.

      The Air Farce must be WAYYYYYYY smarter than us sling-wingers.

    maxmillion in reply to Ragspierre. | July 27, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    You don’t like it? Go vote for the shrillster again, raghead. LOL!!!

“A tweet doesn’t really give you policy,” she said. “How do you implement a tweet? Usually you would have some kind of an actual policy document that comes down.”

You would not believe (well, you probably would) the number of hyperventilating reporters who are gasping about how the Military will carry out this new directive. How abrupt! How shocking! So disconnected! End of the world!

Gingrich likes to say Trump releases ‘rabbits’ for the press to chase while he’s doing real work. This is most certainly a rabbit.

    Ragspierre in reply to georgfelis. | July 27, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    If what you suggest is accurate, T-rump is playing some kind of cynical game with national defense.

    YellowSnake in reply to georgfelis. | July 27, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    That would be brilliant if Trump actually did any work. So far:

    1. Nothing to offer on healthcare
    2. One page on tax reform
    3. Nothing on infrastructure
    4. A tweet on this issue

    Gingrich sure has a snappy repartee!

Maybe it’s HIS generals versus THEIR (GOPe/Dem/Pro) generals? Maybe a new patch is required… red and blue to help determine which division (and how) they are in.

Would one of these chief joints kindly explain to me how accomodating “transgenderism” in the military advances its mission to kill people and break things?

    Ragspierre in reply to rdmdawg. | July 27, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Would you explain HOW that’s their job?

    Or what that has to do with the point here; that T-rump barfed out a series of tweets, but never did his job, which is providing clear direction…even if it comes from subordinates…to the people who have to impliment his directives.


      4th armored div in reply to Ragspierre. | July 27, 2017 at 4:12 pm

      sometimes i agree with you – but you are so disagreeable and do not clearly articulate your position.

      so do you consider that it is the job of the military to provide for the removal of mens sexual parts and if so how does that increase military readiness –
      BTW Viet Nam vet 67-69 sp4 –
      how about you, hot shot ?
      this is nothing like integration of black troops under HST.

        Immolate in reply to 4th armored div. | July 28, 2017 at 3:57 pm

        Every time I feel compelled to defend Rags, I also feel compelled to state that I voted for Trump, which vote was already vindicated by Gorsuch.

        I don’t know who here is opposed to the policy of not allowing transgender people to serve, and frankly don’t care much about the opinions of those people. I served in the USAF from ’81 to ’87, and served in Frankfurt, Omaha, Thule and Colorado Springs.

        Rags says that Trump caught his command off guard, and he did. When you announce a clear and unambiguous policy to the public without having notified your leadership team of your intent, it’s going to put them in a tough spot. I’m not opposed to that, necessarily, but the wisdom of such a move depends on whether it’s strategic (necessity of surprise), or just thoughtless and lazy (think thought -> no filter -> say thought). There are those who think Trump is a super genius who is playing three-dimensional chess with the press, and there are those who think he has poor impulse control, combined with a degree of laziness that undermines what conservative principles he has.

        You can think the latter and not be a never-Trumper. I do and I am not. Trump paid his rent with me for the next four years, and I expect to get a few bonuses in that time as he blind-squirrels himself into a few more sound policy decisions. Ironically, I think Sessions is responsible for much of the blind-squirrel action that has gone on. He is one of the few actually good picks Trump has made for his administration that listened to what Trump told him and proceeded to implement it. I’m not happy with his recusal and I’m mystified by the civil forfeiture posture, but other than that he’s been one of the few gems in the Trump crown. Some of the others might as well have been picked by Obama, and are a result of Trump thinking that someone who is fun to golf with a) thinks like him and, b) hasn’t been captured by IBMRS, aka Inside Beltway Mental Retardation Syndrome.

        So I’m glad I voted for Trump, but wish he wasn’t so bad at this. I hope he learns quickly and hope he leaves a battlefield littered with mangled corpses behind him after he does. Oh, and I also hope those corpses are bad guys and not Trump’s allies.

          Ragspierre in reply to Immolate. | July 28, 2017 at 10:59 pm

          That thar was good!

          BTW, I don’t have…regardless of what some have falsely said…any brief against T-rump voters per se.

          I DO oppose the cultists who rage here against any heresy concerning their Great Goad Cheeto.

          AND I enjoy it…!!!

      Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | July 27, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      Again, no brief on my part against the idea that trannies have no place in the military.

      And, AGAIN, the issue is not that policy, but how it was barfed via Twatter by the POUTUS, without any clear directives to his military COC PRIOR to the barfing.

      I was a CWO at the end of the Vietnam thingy, but I never was deployed out of country, though I was a volunteer in the Regular Army.

        4th armored div in reply to Ragspierre. | July 27, 2017 at 4:54 pm

        CWOs were generally helo drivers, what did you do ?
        glad you didn’t have to get into that FUBAR –
        civilians, as usual, lost that one.

        i agree as to how the tweet was thoughtlessly done but not his sentiment.
        most of the time you don’t argue about the policy but who is setting policy – think of the pantsuit alternative…..

          Ragspierre in reply to 4th armored div. | July 27, 2017 at 5:03 pm

          I don’t even criticize WHO the policy came from, but HOW the policy was implemented.

          I ALSO DO shove in the face of the T-rump sucking myrmidons who infest this site the reality that their Great Goad Cheeto is anything BUT. Via examples.

          I know a thing or two about management. ANY competent manager brings people along with a major shift in policy. He DOES NOT just twaat it out to the world.

          He ESPECIALLY NEVER asks them to “read his mind”.

          I’m not so sure about the “thoughtlessly done” comment.
          With the press obfuscating, and with his own staff unreliable, and his party a joke, perhaps Trump has figured that it is better to express his sentiments directly to the people, by Twitter, then let others who care about niceties criticize and criticize, which criticism won’t sway any minds.
          The great majority of Americans agree completely with the sentiment about who should be in the military, and they are grateful for a non-PC president.
          St.Lo Brigade, 2d AD 1970-71.

          Ragspierre in reply to 4th armored div. | July 27, 2017 at 5:18 pm

          Well, IF he conferred with “his generals”, WTF not provide them a clear directive. As in a well-drafted EO, instead of just twaating it out like an amateur looking to change the meme…???

          Oh. Wait…

          Milhouse in reply to 4th armored div. | July 27, 2017 at 5:27 pm

          Is this a sentiment or an order? If it’s an order then it’s not “the people” who have to hear it, it’s the people whom he expects to implement it. Tweeting to the world doesn’t achieve that.

          rdmdawg in reply to 4th armored div. | July 30, 2017 at 4:39 am

          Rags, the only people who care about ‘process’ and PR spin and the like are the media, wonks, and beltway establishment types. Nobody else cares about the process, only the results.

        Milwaukee in reply to Ragspierre. | July 27, 2017 at 8:34 pm

        I was in Peace Corps Malaysia, but I once played an ex-Marine on stage. His line, if I remember from 30 years ago, was something like “The way we did it in the Marines is you give and order and walk away. Expect it will be followed.”

        Orders have a very defined format. Was the format followed? I think not.

        I think I hear Mr. Ragspierre saying that good management includes subordinates “in the loop” as part of the process. In this case that was not allowed.

        On a CPR team, in action, there is a leader and directions are followed, because somebody is lying there and not breathing. Directions are followed, not discussed, a life is at stake. That same urgency isn’t here.

        Joke about those in officer candidate school. What order do you give to have a flag pole put up? “Sergeant. Put up the flagpole.”

      You’re right but clearly Trump wanted to beat the leakers

        Ragspierre in reply to Neo. | July 27, 2017 at 5:41 pm

        Beat the leakers…?!?!

        To what possible end? And at what obvious costs?


        Sometimes you people just mystify….

    YellowSnake in reply to rdmdawg. | July 27, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    Didn’t the country have this same discussion about blacks, women and gays? It seems to me that while we have a volunteer army, having a larger pool to draw on is a good thing.

    Inevitably, diversity introduces problems. But it seems better to solve the problems and have the highest quality force then to arbitrarily discriminate.

      4th armored div in reply to YellowSnake. | July 27, 2017 at 5:13 pm

      you pay the freight for deneutering men and women (who are so confused that they don’t even know what basic biology is – i am not referring to hermaphrodites —
      a person having both male and female sex organs or other sexual characteristic abnormally )

      How many people are born as hermaphrodites?
      Here’s what we do know: If you ask experts at medical centers how often a child is born so noticeably atypical in terms of genitalia that a specialist in sex differentiation is called in, the number comes out to about 1 in 1500 to 1 in 2000 births.

      I can see the government taking those who have completed the transition, but clearly these half-baked gender tranistioning folks have been shown to have “mental issues”.

      Do you really want to give a gun or the keys to an ICBM to somebody with “mental issues” ?

        Milhouse in reply to Neo. | July 27, 2017 at 11:24 pm

        People who’ve completed the transition have to take hormones for the rest of their lives. Not a desirable situation for the military.

      Lady Gaga tweeted today that about half of the tranny 18 to 23 year olds have attempted suicide.

      That alone is enough to exclude you from military service.

        Ragspierre in reply to Neo. | July 27, 2017 at 5:44 pm



        There are any number of good people who cannot serve in the military. That’s true. It’s been true. And it BETTER be true tomorrow.

      Sanddog in reply to YellowSnake. | July 28, 2017 at 12:34 am

      Having the highest quality force means disqualifying people for specific physical and mental conditions. A guy who believes his life won’t be fulfilled unless his penis is lopped off has a mental condition. Can we all agree on this? This isn’t just another version of normal.

Is there anybody here who actually thinks this is going to happen?

    4th armored div in reply to Wing. | July 27, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    dunno – he lets the Generals fight, while he declares policy and requirements.

    if Mattis says no, then DJT will find a way to recall the tweet and make nice.

Maybe Dunford is just upset that he will not achieve his dream of becoming the first female Marine General Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

2nd Ammendment Mother | July 27, 2017 at 4:26 pm

Any policy that requires 1.8 million man hours to explain, a couple billion dollars to enforce, a 720 page manual to implement and doesn’t do anything that will turn a small country into a black pit of despair is off mission….. and frankly we could use a lot more of those directives.

Honestly, my son didn’t leave the Army because of a transgender policy, but rather the time and energy it (and similar off task trainings) consumed that had nothing to do with him doing his job well.

    YellowSnake in reply to 2nd Ammendment Mother. | July 27, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    Well he could have waste his time and our money on the bloated, inefficient F-35. The numbers on that dwarf your numbers and the plane is a turkey.

    I thought about this because the “1.8 million man hours to explain, a couple billion dollars to enforce, a 720 page manual” is a rounding error for the F-35 (assuming you are not exaggerating).

      Ragspierre in reply to YellowSnake. | July 27, 2017 at 5:34 pm

      Like the Osprey and missile defense systems, the F-35 has been (sometimes rightly) criticized.

      And like both, it will eventually prove to a valuable and even visionary part of our war-fighting systems.

      Try to think how that’s different than forcing war-fighters to sit through mandatory training that is simply PC bullshit.


Nice knowing you, Joe!You of all people should know that when your Commander-in-Chief says, “jump” you say, “how high!”

    Milhouse in reply to PaddyORyan. | July 27, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Neither the CinC nor anyone else in his line of command has told him anything, which is precisely his point. A tweet blasted at the world in general is not an order, and he has no right to implement it without being told to.

great unknown | July 27, 2017 at 4:35 pm

I suggest that General Mattis was in concurrence, but has not yet implemented the policy. This was hinted at in Mattis’s statement this week that the military should not be burdened with useless training [i.e., SJW sensitivity workshops].

Gen. Dunford, on the other hand, pointedly did not say that he consulted with the SecDef before he made his statement. Which strongly implies that he knows that General Mattis is in favor of the policy.

Could it be that Gen. Dunford is getting ready to retire into the liberal luxury circuit [member of a dozen boards, professor at a liberal university, etc.]?

The Commander-in-Chief makes such decisions; part of his job.

The military follows orders, but only after actually receiving them through channels. No problem there.

After eight years of President “The-Buck-Stops-Somewhere-Else”, it’s refreshing to have someone in the office who’s not obsessed with deflecting responsibility (while grabbing credit). Generals don’t set Department of Defense policy, the C-in-C does. And they should’t be expected to take the political heat for it.

What next? I expect a court in Hawaii will claim the same sort of control over DoD policy as it does over immigration.

    YellowSnake in reply to tom swift. | July 27, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    Please, if there is one thing that even conservatives should have noticed, the buck never stops with The Donald. It is always someone else’s fault or he didn’t say it. His attention span is such that he may never come up with a directive concerning the transgendered.

    4th armored div in reply to tom swift. | July 27, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    What next? I expect a court in Hawaii will claim the same sort of control over DoD policy as it does over immigration.<—

    it will declare OOennn the real CIC, donch know,
    and of course 'da Wides Ladina' and 'JINO Altzheimer Gindzburka'
    will agree of course with Chon Robbery voting Present but not responsible.


You are a snake in the grass, well named.

Trump takes responsibility for everything, he’s an Alpha male, I guess you wouldn’t know that.

By the way, he’s a multi Billionaire, are you?

And he’s working for ZERO dollars 24/7, unlike all those other snakes in the grass in Government, and definitely unlike the previous low renter who occupied our WH and partied with the rappers every Wednesday at
on the American taxpayers dime…

looks like a certain general isn’t clear on what “Commander in Chief” means.

sounds like a relief for cause is needed, followed by an Art 32 investigation, then a court-martial…

which should serve as an excellent lesson for a lot of other assholes in government, uniformed or otherwise.

    Ragspierre in reply to redc1c4. | July 27, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    Since nothing is perfect, you’re not a perfect idiot.

    REEEEEEEAAAAALLLLLY close. But not perfect…

    Valerie in reply to redc1c4. | July 27, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    The general is clear, and he correctly understands how policy is implemented. His brief, pointed statement is reasonably calculated to stifle premature action at lower levels.

    The President is free to raise an issue or announce a policy change in any manner he wishes. However, for the military to implement a policy change, an executive order must issue first. That executive order is most commonly written after consultation with the various affected commands, in hopes that when the policy change happens, it happens smoothly and with reasonable results.

      Rick the Curmudgeon in reply to Valerie. | July 27, 2017 at 9:34 pm


      ecreegan in reply to Valerie. | July 28, 2017 at 12:57 am


      Furthermore, this HAS to be the general’s position. He doesn’t know if the policy is supposed to kick out transgenders already in the military or merely disqualify them from admission and refuse to accommodate them if they pop up. He doesn’t know if he’s supposed to apply this to cross-dressers with no desire to ever alter their body. Or to people who normally dress normally but engage in role-play (live-action role-playing, impromptu acting, etc.) as the other sex — if so, only those who *prefer* playing the other six, or including those who are indifferent? Or what about someone who considers himself male-to-female transsexual but intends to delay any body alternation until after the end of his military career because he wishes to avoid being hormone-dependent?

        Rick the Curmudgeon in reply to ecreegan. | July 28, 2017 at 9:18 am

        ARE there any trans people in the military yet? I realize Obama changed the policy sometime back, but it wasn’t to take effect until January 2018. (Thus Obama gets the applause for changing the policy and Hillary gets to deal with the headaches of implementing it. A win-win for Obama; praise and a “fuck you” to the Clintons.)

        I’d think if there were any trans people onboard the there would have been a big hullabaloo about the first trans enlisted, completing boot camp (or OCS), arriving at their duty assignment, etc.

Transvestite American soldiers down the drain.

Damn – another of obama’s sex fantasies shot to hell.

Guarantee you will soon see barry showing up somewhere in an evening gown, probably at his coming-out party.

Paul In Sweden | July 28, 2017 at 10:43 am

My only question is why is the General talking to the press on a hot topic that is above his pay grade. He should keep his mouth shut and wait until he receives his orders through proper channels and Stay Off the Dance Floor when the Elephants Dance.

He received an order by tweet. Now he is telling the president what form an order has to take? Telling it to his face doesn’t count? Fire him.

    Immolate in reply to AlecRawls. | July 28, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Never been in the military Alec? Everyone takes direction from the President, but orders through the chain of command. Try telling your platoon sergeant that you disagree with his interpretation of the President’s direction. There are a thousand questions that have to be answered before implementing any sweeping policy in the military, the answer to any of one of which might be both ambiguous and bordering on insubordination if implemented incorrectly.

    For example, an Afghanistan and Iraqi war veteran who served with distinction and earned medals for valor, has 19.8 years in service and turned tranny last year after it was announced by the Obama admin that doing so was A-OK. Do we terminate him now, a bona fide war hero, two months before retirement, though he faithfully followed military policy to the letter? SecDef doesn’t know Trump’s answer to that question any better than how Trump feels about the quality of harmonicas these days, and guessing wrong could put the President in a bad spot. So no, the President’s orders weren’t all that clear or easy to execute.

    Milhouse in reply to AlecRawls. | July 28, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    He did not tell it to his face. He tweeted it to the world in general. That is not an order, and a military officer has no right to act on it.

So, Mr. CinC Trump, send the Joint Chiefs and order, or else remember Truman and MacArthur.