Statement updated on April 12, 2019.
The Mission Continues stands in solidarity with the transgender community as its members struggle for recognition as equal citizens. The Defense Department’s implementation of a ban on service by openly transgender Americans runs counter to our core values, our experience serving and supporting LGBTQ+ veterans, and to recent research on force readiness and troop cohesion.
The Mission Continues was founded with five core values, of which “respect” remains the standard for all who serve with us. In our words and deeds, the value explicitly exclaims: We believe everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and that they can make a difference.
Our experience is exactly that – through our work in under-resourced and under-represented communities, transgender veterans have been and continue to be critical leaders in the neighborhoods and cities that need their talents and skills.
Furthermore, we believe the ban is a step in the wrong direction and revives a devastating legacy of minimizing and dishonoring the service of LGBTQ+ veterans.
The Mission Continues will steadfastly maintain and defend our practices of inclusivity and affirming the rights, humanity and identity of transgender people and our LGBTQ+ veterans. We welcome and honor their service and authentic selves, knowing our communities and our country are stronger for their contributions.