Transgender individuals can once again serve in the U.S. military after President Joe Biden signed an executive order last month that overturns a ban from former President Donald Trump, which was ordered in a series of tweets during his first year in office.
Retired Col. Jennifer Pritzker applauded Biden’s decision.
“I’m certainly very glad that he did—I think it’s a good thing for everybody and I’m glad he used his executive authority to do so,” said Pritzker, a business woman and philanthropist.
Pritzker enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1974 and served in the U.S. Army Reserve and the Illinois Army National Guard before retiring. She later founded the Pritzker Military Museum & Library.
Trump’s decision to make a policy change through a tweet caught everyone from the Department of Defense to the armed forces off guard, according to Pritzker. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of Defense and service secretaries had done extensive studies on integrating open service for transgender people—all to be upset by a tweet, she said.
“It affects roughly 14,000 to 15,000 members of the armed forces and it put total confused, disorder and rather demoralizing influence in their lives.” said Pritzker. “Now they don’t know where they stand, because some of them are grandfathered in, some of them you can say you’re transgender but you can’t do anything about it, so it was very disruptive anyway you look at it.”