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The head of the US Coast Guard has rejected Donald Trump’s ban against transgender people from the military.

In a speech delivered at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Admiral Paul F. Zukunft pledged a commitment to the 13 openly transgender members of the Coast Guard, including Lt. Taylor Miller, the first officer to openly transition in the Coast Guard.


“I reached out personally to Lt. Taylor Miller, who was featured on the cover of The Washington Post last week,” said Zukunft. Zukunft was responding Trump’s tweet saying he planned to ban transgender people from serving “in any capacity in the U.S. Military.” The White House has given no further clarification or details on the ban.

“Now if you read that story, Taylor’s family has disowned her,” he continued. “Her family is the United States Coast Guard. 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.’”

“That is the commitment to our people right now,” Zukunft said. “Very small numbers, but all of them are doing meaningful Coast Guard work today.”