WASHINGTON – Navy Secretary Richard Spencer said Thursday that anyone who meets the qualifications should be able to serve in the military.
Spencer had been asked about President Donald Trump’s July Twitter announcement that he intends to bar transgender people from the ranks because of healthcare costs and unit disruption.
“We will process and take direction of a policy that will be developed by the [Defense] Secretary from direction of the president, and march out smartly. As I said before, on a fundamental basis, any patriot that wants to serve and meets all the requirements should be able to serve in our military,” Spencer told WAVY-TV while visiting Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia.
Trump on Thursday defended his decision.
“It’s been a very confusing issue for the military, and I think I’m doing the military a great favor,” Trump said.
The White House has yet to make public any formal guidance on how the Defense Department should turn the Twitter posts into policy. The military has not made moves to expel transgender personnel.
Five active-duty transgender service members sued the Trump administration this week over the ban, on the grounds that it is unconstitutional.