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Coast Guard Commandant Paul Zukunft says he won't turn his back on transgender troops

The commandant of the Coast Guard is speaking out against President Donald Trump's plan to bar transgender people from serving in the military.

In a series of tweets last week, Trump declared that the military will no longer "accept or allow" transgender troops to serve "in any capacity." The president said that the ban was needed to avoid "tremendous medical costs and disruption" posed by transgender people serving in the military.

Admiral Paul Zukunft made his comments Tuesday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, according to Military.com.

Zukunft described his reaction to Trump's tweets, saying that he had his office reach out to all 13 openly transgender Coast Guard members.

"I reached out personally to Lt. Taylor Miller, who was featured on the cover of The Washington Post last week," Zukunft said. "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.'"

"That is the commitment to our people right now," he added. Very small numbers, but all of them are doing meaningful Coast Guard work today."

(Related: Dozens of retired generals, admirals oppose Trump's ban on transgender troops.)
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