Transgender service member explains to CNN​ that there's literally no problem to solve: “We've already been serving ... we've caused no disruption”

Lt. Cmdr. Blake Dremann: “There have been no major disruptions due to transgender service members. So to think that we are suddenly out of a job based on bad information is unkind”

From the July 26 edition of CNN's The Lead with Jake Tapper:

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JAKE TAPPER (HOST): What was your response when you saw or heard about the tweets from the president this morning? 

LT. CMDR. BLAKE DREMANN: I was definitely shocked and upset. As a transgender service member, I'm doing my job and continuing to serve with honor and dignity, and this was definitely something that has taken me aback, at least for the foreseeable future.

TAPPER: Have you heard from your superiors? Are you worried about being separated from the military against your will? 

DREMANN: I am absolutely worried about being separated. I have already talked to my superiors and they are just as shocked as I am. And they wanted me to know that they completely support me and support the work that I do as far as within the military, and that they will continue to do so till the military tells me it's time to hang up my boots. 

TAPPER: So one of the reasons -- the president said that the reason was because people like you are disruptive. And the truth of the matter is that for people watching right now, you might be the first transgender individual that they've ever seen or heard from, and certainly the first transgender current military that they've ever heard from. So what do you want them to know? 

DREMANN: What I'd really want them to know is that we've already been serving for over a year. We've caused no disruption -- 

TAPPER: Openly since 2016. 

DREMANN: Openly since June of 2016. We've caused no disruptions, there's been no readiness issues, we continue to deploy. We are company commanders, special operators, drill sergeants who are continuing to do the mission, and there is nothing that has held us back with regards to moving forward on the policy. There's been no issue with the policy since it's been released. And as stated, this has been a bit of a shock. The numbers are in our favor. 

TAPPER: There is talk that the reason the president might have done this could have something to do with wanting this to be an issue for Democratic members of congress, especially in rust belt states, to have to defend, putting them in an awkward position. If it's true that this was being done for political reasons, what would you think? 

DREMANN: If it's being done for political reasons, then that's not really my realm to delve into. 

TAPPER: OK, the reason you're not wearing your uniform is because you can't wear it as an active duty service member talking about this, and you also have parameters of what you can speak to. 


TAPPER: Before the election, President Trump -- and since the election, I should say, President Trump has painted himself as a supporter of LGBTQ rights. There he is holding up a rainbow flag, LGBTQ, during the campaign. 


TAPPER: Did you believe him when he said he was going to be a friend to the LGBT community? 

DREMANN: I trust that my commander-in-chief knows what he is supposed to be doing, and this definitely feels that he -- yeah, I'm uncomfortable -- because as a member of the military, we support and defend the Constitution. And I will not criticize his words or his actions with regards to the military publicly. So I have to believe that he wants the best for the military, and this is just really bad advice that he's been given by people who don't trust Rand, when they trust Rand for other studies that the military does. 

TAPPER: The Rand corporation has said there's very little disruption. 

DREMANN: Very little disruption, and there has been. We've proven that over and over again as we've seen over the last year. There have been no major disruptions due to transgender service members. So to think that we are suddenly out of a job based on bad information is unkind. 

TAPPER: Lastly, without getting specific about any specific politician, you volunteered to serve your country. You don't make a lot of money, you work very hard, and you serve your country. You've been in the military since 2006. What do you make of politicians who have not volunteered to serve their country, who have tried to avoid military service telling you that you can't? 

DREMANN: I think personnel decisions should really be left up to the [Defense] Secretary and his staff. We're the ones out there doing the jobs. And that's what it is. We're already there, we're already serving. And it causes a bigger disruption to suddenly change personnel policies than it does for anything else. And just like with any big company, they've all run big companies at some point in time in their life, and you don't suddenly fire a third of your -- you know, a portion of your work force based on bad information. And I think that we need to focus on the mission and less on the social aspects of the military. The only thing that brings up these social aspects are people who can't move past it and focus on the mission. That's what we need to be able to do. We need to be able to focus on the mission that the military is already doing and that transgender service members are already contributing to. To make this a wedge issue hurts the lethality and the readiness of the military overall. 


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