President Trump gives Air Force special powers over pilot shortage after banning trans troops
President Donald Trump has signed an executive order allowing retired military pilots to be recalled to active duty, despite banning willing trans people from serving.
Trump signed an amendment to Executive Order 13223 which will give the US Air Force powers to recall retired military officers to service with any reason given.
Noting a shortage, Trump signed the order late on Friday, just months after banning transgender people from serving openly in the US Military.
The order also cited “the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on the United States.”
Order 13223 was originally signed by George W Bush in September 2001 following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Trump’s update to the order said it was “in furtherance of the objectives of Proclamation 7463… which declared a national emergency by reason of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.”
“We’re 1,500 pilots short, and if we don’t find a way to turn this around, our ability to defend the nation is compromised,” General David L Goldfein, the US Air Force Chief of Staff, told UPI.
A RAND Corporation report stated that the shortage of pilots in the US Air Force was partly because “employment opportunities are excellent in the private sector.”
Some have expressed concern over the nonspecific use of the term “national emergency” in Trump’s update to the order.
But it is worth noting that he signed it citing shortages despite banning willing transgender people from serving openly in all branches of the US Military.
Earlier this year Donald Trump took to Twitter to announce that he would impose a ban on transgender soldiers serving openly in the military.
The President tweeted: “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 in the military would entail.”
Defense Secretary James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis is pushing ahead with the administration’s plans to ban trans people from the military.
In the face of multiple civil rights lawsuits, Trump administration officials are drawing up plans to block recruitment of any military personnel who identify as transgender, while working on plans to ‘purge’ existing soldiers from next year.
The military ban has caused confusion since Trump announced it on Twitter.
He instructed the Pentagon to indefinitely ban trans people from serving openly in the military.
In June of last year, President Obama asked the Pentagon to lift its long-held ban on transgender soldiers serving openly in the military.
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The Department of Defense was given until July 1 of this year to implement the policy, with LGBT advocates hopeful that transgender soldiers would finally be able to serve openly.
A poll found that a majority of military families oppose the ban.
The Admiral of the US Coast Guard earlier this year said he would defy the ban, and said he had personally spoken to all out trans members of the Coast Guard.
The Trump administration has vowed to fight back against several lawsuits filed since the ban was announced.