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Defiant Coast Guard four-star vows to keep transgender service members

The commandant of the Coast Guard reaffirmed his commitment to transgender Coast Guardsmen Tuesday morning while addressing President Donald Trump’s series of tweets calling for a ban, reports

Adm. Paul Zukunft took a firm stance on the matter during an appearance at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“I reached out personally to Lt. Taylor Miller, who was featured on the cover of The Washington Post last week,” Zukunft said.

“If you read that story, Taylor’s family has disowned her,” he said. “Her family is the United States Coast Guard. And I told Taylor, ’I will not turn my back. We have made an investment in you, and you have made an investment in the Coast Guard, and I will not break faith.”

The Pentagon ended the policy banning transgender individuals from serving in the military in 2016. Then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter lifted the ban, assuring these service members that they would no longer be discharged on that basis and would receive medical care — including hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery.

Trump’s series of tweets on July 26 made it clear he intends to reverse the policy.

No additional guidance has come from the White House, and military leaders and service members are left wondering what will happen next.

Zukunft’s message to transgender Guardsmen, however, was clear.

“That is the commitment to our people right now,” Zukunft said. “Very small numbers, but all of them are doing meaningful Coast Guard work today.”

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