Illinois Military Officials Field Questions About Transgender Ban

Jul 26, 2017

It is unclear what the next steps are in Illinois after President Donald Trump’s announcement barring transgender people from serving in the U.S. military.

Credit Illinois National Guard

“I reached out to the National Guard Bureau public affairs office, who had already reached out to the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s public affairs office, and both of those entities were referring their calls to the White House,” Illinois National Guard Capt. Dutch Grove said.

Grove says there’s not much to comment on currently, since no assigned directive or guidance has been provided to the guard at this point.

“Ultimately, the President is the Commander-in-Chief, so these directives are his prerogative and by the time you get down the chain of command to the Illinois National Guard, we’re soldiers and we are airmen, and we follow the orders of those appointed above us,” Grove said.

Grove says it’s also unclear how or if the announcement will have an effect on recruitment or those currently serving, since specifics from President Obama’s order to integrate trans personnel in the military haven’t been implemented yet.

Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel have voiced their opposition to Trump’s announcement.