Trump Announces Full Ban On Transgender Service Members In U.S. Military

"Our military... cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender [sic] in the military would entail."

This morning Donald Trump announced via tweet that transgender service members would be prohibited from serving in in the U.S. military in any capacity.

GREEN BAY, WI - AUGUST 05: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally on August 5, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Trump endorsed House Speaker Paul Ryan, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) during the rally in an effort to heal rifts within the Republican Party. (Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images)

The announcement reverses a decision by the Obama administration to allow trans people to openly serve their country. Trump issued his statement shortly after 8am.

"After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender [sic] in the military would entail. Thank you."

The question of whether the Pentagon should cover transition-related medical expenses has been debated in recent months, but today's announcement goes much further.

While LGBT groups are still formulating official statements, the twitter group Vets Against Trump was quick to respond to the news.

"This is shameful and wrong," the group, which has more than 25,000 followers, stated in a series of tweets. "Here is the reality... Transgender Americans are ALREADY serving in uniform, honorably and effectively. What you are proposing is to put back in place 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' a policy which hurt the military, and caused witch hunts of troops. This is horrifically un-American, and hurts the military."

It's estimated there are between 2,500 and 7,000 active trans service members, and another 1,500 to 4,000 in the reserves. Secretary of Defense James Mattis had initially delayed integrating trans recruits into the military, asking for six months to prepare a plan.

Trump's tweets would indicate he is operating independent of his "generals and military experts," not on their advice.