The Trump Administration’s Transgender Military Ban

American Oversight is conducting an investigation into the Trump administration’s move to ban transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military, which the president announced via Twitter.

What We’re Seeking

  • Any analysis or recommendations provided by senior military or DOD officials to the White House regarding the implementation of a ban on transgender individuals serving in the military.


On July 26th, 2017, President Trump announced through a series of Tweets that transgender individuals will no longer be allowed to serve in the U.S. military.

In announcing the ban, President Trump claimed he was advised by “my generals,” but news reports indicated that the Pentagon was caught off guard by the tweets and was unprepared for the policy change — suggesting that the move was not in fact recommended by military leaders.

American Oversight is investigating what the DOD knew before this policy change was revealed to the public. We submitted a FOIA request seeking all documents and communications related to this decision, including any analyses or recommendations from any military personnel provided to the White House that could have influenced DOD’s policy regarding the service of transgender individuals in the U.S. military.

In August, President Trump issued a more formal directive banning transgender individuals from serving in the military, and as of September, the Pentagon had adopted interim guidance as it considered how to implement a longer-term policy to carry out the president’s order.