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Senator Shelby Weighs In on Transgenders in the Military

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Although he wants to see more facts to further evaluate the situation, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) appeared to support the inclusion of all willing people in the U.S. Military during a Wednesday afternoon interview on CNN.

“You ought to treat everybody fairly and give everybody a chance to serve,” Shelby said on CNN’s Newsroom.

CNN’s questioning stemmed from President Donald Trump’s announcement of a ban on transgender individuals in the U.S. Military. The president made his declaration Wednesday morning in a series of tweets.

Shelby reiterated throughout the several-minute segment that he would like to carefully evaluate the new policy. However, he did note that it appeared to be a shift from traditional U.S. protocol.

“That would be a reversal of the current policy,” Shelby said. “The current policy is a big tent for people who want to serve. You’ve got to remember, our military force is a voluntary force. I’ll have to see what he actually said, read his tweet and go from there.”

Shelby clarified his statements with Yellowhammer, expressing confidence in and deference towards our nation’s military but said that the door should be open for all capable individuals to serve in the armed forces.

“We are a nation at war. I am confident that Secretary Mattis and DoD leadership can and will evaluate current personnel policy that will enable us to recruit, train, and equip an all-volunteer force,” he told Yellowhammer. “Any American who wants to serve our country and is able to meet those standards should have the opportunity to do so.”