U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would not allow transgender individuals to serve in the U.S. military in any capacity.
“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,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
The White House has not yet decided how it will implement the president’s ban on transgender people serving in the US military.
Mr Trump’s surprise Twitter announcement on Wednesday has been met with criticism from rights groups.
Spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the administration would work alongside the Pentagon to decide how to proceed.
It is not yet clear how the announcement will affect current transgender service personnel.
“The United States government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US military,” Donald Trump tweeted.
“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.”
Asked at a press briefing if troops on battlefields would be immediately sent back, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the policy had yet to be worked out.
“The decision is based on a military decision. It’s not meant to be anything more than that,” she said.