The first openly transgender soldier to serve in the Nevada National Guard is reacting to President Trump’s announcement that transgender individuals will no longer be allowed to serve in the U.S. military.
Trump stated the reason for the ban is due to, "the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail."
After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
....Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
....victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
Sgt. Sam Hunt, of Reno, is an electrician in the Nevada Army National Guard, and he released the following statement after today’s announcement:
"People referred to me as a man before my military career and throughout much of my early service before the transgender ban was lifted. When President Obama removed the ban last year, I felt I could openly serve as a man. I was officially informed earlier this month that the Department of Defense approved my transition from female to male. But as a non-commissioned officer, I completely understand orders come from above. As of today, my supervisors and commanders have not informed me of any changes to my status as a male soldier in the Nevada Army National Guard. Until told otherwise, I will continue serving this nation and state, as I have since 2009."
In a statement to ABC10, the Nevada National Guard said they are referring all questions about the president's statements to the White House.
"The Nevada National Guard will await any Department of Defense policy changes to address the new guidance provided by the commander-in-chief on transgender individuals serving in the military," the statement said. "While we await further guidance from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, leaders expect commanders to continue to take care of our soldiers and airmen and treat everyone with dignity and respect.”
Prior to his transition, Sam Hunt attended the University of Nevada, Reno, and in 2009, after college, he enlisted in the National Guard.
In an article published by Military.com, Hunt said in 2015, he explored options, "to end that awkward feeling surrounding [his] gender identification."
"It wasn't just like one morning I woke up and said, 'Yup, I'm going to be a male today'," Hunt said in the Military.com article. "I think it was more of a process...the process is very different for everyone."
Hunt took on the physical appearance of a man, "but I was still a female on the record books in the Army. It was a strange transition."
Hunt went on to say in the article that he wants to educate people on issues concerning members of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer community, highlighting the different experiences for members of that community and other people in general.
"No matter if you're transgender, straight, gay, lesbian, you're still a person who struggles throughout life," Hunt said, closing the article. "It's important to not shut people out just because they are different."