WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says he will bar transgender individuals from serving "in any capacity" in the U.S. armed forces.
Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that after consulting with "Generals and military experts," that the government "will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military."
Trump added that "Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail."
Transgender service members have been able to serve openly in the military since last year, when former Defense Secretary Ash Carter ended the ban.
Military chiefs recently announced a delay on allowing transgender people from enlisting. But transgender troops are already serving openly in the military.
The missive comes after Trump's defense secretary, retired Gen. James Mattis, delayed the implementation of the plan to accept transgender troops by six months. The decision came one day before the deadline for the military to update its medical standards to accommodate transgender service members.
Mattis commissioned a review of how the changes would effect the military, though he cautioned at the time that the delay "in no way presupposes the outcome."
"Since becoming the Secretary of Defense, I have emphasized that the Department of Defense must measure each policy decision against one critical standard: Will the decision affect the readiness and lethality of the force?" Mattis said last month in a statement. "Put another way, how will the decision affect the ability of America's military to defend the nation? It is against this standard that I provide the following guidance on the way forward in accessing transgender individuals into the military Services."
Under former defense secretary Ash Carter, the military was given one year to determine how to implement a policy that would allow transgender service members to receive medical care and would ban the services from involuntarily separating people in the military who came out as transgender.
Information from the Associated Press and Washington Post was used in this report. This is a developing story. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.