The Navy won’t change its transgender policy until the White House provides further guidance, according to an email obtained by the Navy Times from Deputy Chief of Naval Operations Vice Adm. Robert Burke.

The Pentagon, and by extension the sea service, ”will not take any personnel actions or change any policy until further guidance from the President is received,“ Burke said in the Wednesday email.

President Donald Trump upended the military’s transgender policy Wednesday with a series of tweets announcing a ban on transgender people in the ranks

Since then, the Pentagon and military branches have been scrambling to suss out just what the Twitter proclamation means. 

The Pentagon is working to ”quickly discern the President’s intent” regarding transgender troops currently serving, Burke said.

In the meantime, medical care for transgender sailors will continue, he said.

“I recognized that today’s announcements regarding changes to the transgender (TG) military service policy are causing concern for some of your Sailors and that they likely have questions,” Burke said in an email to select admirals. 

Any questions regarding transgender policy or individual sailor case questions should be referred to the Navy’s Service Central Coordination Cell, he said.

“Treating service members with dignity and respect is something we expect from our Sailors at all times,” Burke said. 

Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at

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