As a crowd gathers in Times Square to protest U.S. President Donald Trump's plan to ban transgender people from the U.S. military, a transgender Army veteran says she was ''shocked'' by the announcement and adds the talent pool for the military has been made much smaller by the move. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: As a crowd gathers in New York City's Times Square to protest U.S. President Donald Trump's plan to ban transgender people from the U.S. military, an Army veteran elsewhere in the city says she was shocked after reading the president's tweets on Wednesday (July 26). Jennifer Long, a transgender woman who served in the military for 29 years, said the talent pool is made that much smaller with transgender individuals not being able to serve in the military. As many as 10,700 transgender people are estimated to be serving in the U.S. military out of 1.4 million overall, according to a 2016 study by the RAND Corp., a California-based defense think tank. Another 134,000 people are transgender veterans, experts estimate. The U.S. Department of Defense announced last year it was ending a ban on transgender troops serving openly, and it was expected this year to start allowing transgender recruits to join the armed forces.