From Calvin Freiburger: As president, Donald Trump is commander-in-chief of the United States military. Unfortunately, the commander of one of the military’s branches appears not to have gotten the memo.
The Independent Journal Review reports that Admiral Paul Zukunft, head of the United States Coast Guard, is openly contradicting Trump’s announcement that transgender people will not be admitted into the military.
“The first thing we did is we reached out to all 13 members of the Coast Guard who have come out” as transgender, Zukunft said, according to The Hill.
Zukunft said he contacted Lt. Taylor Miller, who felt “mortified and embarrassed” after Trump’s announcement, according to a story in The Washington Post.
“If you read that story, Taylor’s family has disowned her,“ Zukunft explained. ”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.”
Geez, with grandstanding like that, it’s almost like Zukunft is running for something.
As a practical matter, he’s not technically defying anything…yet. Trump’s tweets amount to simply an announcement of action to come, and military leaders have not yet received formal orders that would translate into a plan for how exactly to implement the policy change.
However, Zukunft is absolutely defying the intent of his commander-in-chief, which is so beyond accepted norms that Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) called it “unprecedented.” Granted, in 2015 some generals began contradicting Barack Obama’s public assurances that ISIS was contained — even that was contradicting statements/interpretations of fact, not military policy.
Telling the truth about the nation’s success in defeating a bloodthirsty enemy vs. protesting the reversal of a year-old policy change — gee, I wonder which set of circumstances is more urgent?
And please, Admiral, spare us the lectures about the dignity of transgender soldiers. The military isn’t a club, social experiment, safe space, or performance art project; the only thing that should matter to recruitment is effectiveness. As should be obvious to anyone not preoccupied with pandering to the Left, there are scores of physical and mental conditions that mean someone’s presence in a unit would be a detriment to its effectiveness — and none of them are seen as insults to the character or dignity of the people afflicted with them.
This is not complicated. I don’t know if Admiral Zukunft is too incompetent to grasp this or has simply chosen his politics matter more, but either way, it’s clear that the Coast Guard needs new leadership.