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Coast Guard leader says he supports transgender members

The Coast Guard's highest ranking officer said Tuesday that he 'will not break faith' with transgender service members under his command despite a recent announcement by the administration. 

Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC, Commandant of the Coast Guard Admiral Paul Zukunft said he contacted all 13 members of the Coast Guard who identify as transgender to assure them that they have his support. 

Zukunft said he approached the recruits shortly after President Donald announced last week that individuals in the transgender community would no longer be allowed to enter into military service.   

Admiral Paul Zukunft (Pictured) said on Tuesday that he would 'not turn his back' on transgender service members

Admiral Paul Zukunft (Pictured) said on Tuesday that he would 'not turn his back' on transgender service members

Zukunft reached out to all 13 transgender service members in the Coast Guard, including Lt. Taylor Miller (Pictured) whose family has disowned her

Zukunft reached out to all 13 transgender service members in the Coast Guard, including Lt. Taylor Miller (Pictured) whose family has disowned her

'I reached out personally to Lt. Taylor Miller, who was featured on the cover of The Washington Post last week,' Military.com quoted Zukunft as saying.

'If you read that story, Taylor's family has disowned her. 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.'"

Miller is the first service member in the Coast Guard to state openly that she is transitioning, a process that began in 2016 following the Pentagon's decision to remove all barriers for the transgender community to pursue military service.

Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter ordered all branches of the military to draw up new policies that would allow for transgender recruits and transgender medical care within the military. 

The Coast Guard is the only branch of the armed services that falls under the purview of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), rather than the Department of Defense (DOD).

On July 26, President Trump announced a new order that would bar 'transgender individuals to serve' in the military

On July 26, President announced a new order that would bar 'transgender individuals to serve' in the military

Trump's initiative rescinds an Obama era policy that allowed members of transgender community to join the military

's initiative rescinds an Obama era policy that allowed members of transgender community to join the military

Experts say the military spends approximately $8 million on medical costs for transgender service people, a fraction of their budget

Experts say the military spends

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