The top enlisted man of the US Navy spoke out in direct contradiction against Defense Secretary James Mattis on the topic of transgender sailors last week.
Engaged by the press after attending an all-hands call last Friday in South Korea, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Steven Giordano made it very clear where he stood as he indirectly addressed transgender personnel.
“We are honored and blessed to have you on our team, and you will continue to have my support,” he said.
The comment came just one day after Mattis went before lawmakers and proposed restricting the majority of transgender people from military service, a policy change that has been approved by the Commander in Chief.
“We treat all sailors with dignity and respect; we treat all sailors fair and equitable,” Giordano said.
According to the Stars and Stripes, Giordano’s comments seem akin to Sergeant Major of The Army Dan Dailey.
“We haven’t heard any issues or concerns, and I personally have not had any issues or concerns,” Dailey said of transgender soldiers.
Dailey appears to take a politically-correct and noncommittal stance on the matter, which seems to seek distance (but not be totally detached) from the Defense Secretary’s opinions, albeit Giordano’s comments appear to be more inflammatory than those of his Army counterpart.
With only 1 percent of US military personnel identifying as transgender, the verdict on whether or not they can continue to serve may soon be in- and will likely be a political and strategic “football” to be thrown back-and-forth for many administrations to come.
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