In recent weeks, California and its military, one of the largest entities of the National Guard in the US. UU., They began to express their disagreement with President Donald Trump on two controversial issues: the southern border and members of the transgender service.
Almost a month after the Supreme Court decided not to stand in the way of Trump's decision to prevent transgender people from serving in the military, the second-in-command of the California Military Department told policy makers that the directive was not would apply to transgender troops serving in the California National Guard.
"As long as you fight, we do not care what gender you identify," Major General Matthew Beevers, deputy assistant general of the California Department of Military Affairs, told the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee last week.
"No one is going to kick you out," Beevers said, adding that members of the transgender service would still have to look for gender reassignment surgery.
The Trump ban has not yet been fully implemented, pending a current court order in the Maryland District Court. United States District Judge George Russell of Baltimore has not yet resolved the matter.
Beevers said he expects the ban to "get up again."
Initially, Trump announced that it would reverse President Barack Obama's 2017 policy of allowing transgender people to provide services. Trump said through a tweet at the time that the army "can not be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruptions that transgender in the military would imply."
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One year before Trump's announcement; however, a government-funded study in 2016 found that "the costs of health treatment related to the gender transition are relatively low" for the 1,320 to 6,630 transgender soldiers on active duty. In its study, the Rand Corporation estimated an annual cost of between $ 2.4 million and $ 8.4 million for surgical procedures related to gender, or an increase of around 0.04% to 0.13% in health care costs for active military service .
It was not clear if Gavin Newsom, California's newly elected Democratic governor who previously called Trump's ban "reckless" and "the height of cruelty and ignorance," played a role in CalGuard's decision.
"Military leaders, decorated veterans and members of Congress from both parties have rightly come together to condemn what is, as the government itself confirms, a cheap and cynical tactic to gather the darkest corners of Trump's base against another internal enemy. invented "Newsom said in a statement after Trump's announcement.
"There is NO basis for Trump's claim that service to patriotic transgender people affects our military readiness," Newsom added. "On the contrary, the President today has weakened our armed forces and, in doing so, has diminished both our security and our position in the world community."
A spokesman for the California Department of Military told INSIDER that CalGuard would continue to comply with federal regulations and directed all other inquiries to the governor's office.
The governor's office did not respond to a request for comments on Monday night.
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& # 39; We are not interested in participating in this political theater & # 39;
While CalGuard's disagreement with Trump's policy may have been subtle, Newsom's views were not limited.
On Monday, Newsom made a move to undermine Trump's plan to deploy another 3,750 service members to protect the US-Mexico border, a development that would have brought the total number of service members to around 6,000.
At a press conference with the heads of the National Guard and the State Highway Patrol, Newsom announced that it would withdraw the majority of the approximately 360 members of the California National Guard currently deployed to the border to "focus on threats real that the state faces ".
"The 'emergency' of the border is a manufactured crisis," Newsom told a news conference on Monday. "And California will not be part of this political theater, which is why I have given the National Guard a new mission: they will refocus on the real threats facing our state."
"This is our response to the White House: no more division, xenophobia or nativism," Newsom said, adding that troops that were withdrawn will be assigned other missions, such as supporting fire prevention efforts and the Task Force. State anti-drugs.
About 110 CalGuard troops from the border will be redistributed for "prevention and fire fighting efforts," Newsom said. It is expected that some 100 troops will continue to carry out "narcotics and drug trafficking operations directed at transnational criminal organizations at ports of entry."
The California National Guard and the federal government have long enjoyed a symbiotic relationship, particularly during national emergencies arising from natural disasters.
In addition, the Guard units travel regularly for annual deployments in support of foreign allies, such as Ukraine, in addition to combat deployments during the War on Terror.
The California National Guard says it has deployed more than 50,000 times since the 9/11 attacks and responds to "an emergency incident" about once every three days in California.
A former CalGuard senior official described California's focus on fire prevention as "good use of National Guard troops." It is believed that state authorities are coming to the end of the "decision-making process" in the allocation of assets for the next wildfire season after experiencing one of the deadliest fire seasons in the history of the state.
"In the end, I think the National Guard troops are more suitable, certainly for California, for things like forest fires," the former official told INSIDER. "It's when they're inundated with so many fires that all the fire-fighting capabilities in the state can not keep up with the [operational] tempo."