Trump’s transgender move surprises his man in Samoa

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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Ambassador Scott Brown.

Ambassador Scott Brown. (Photo: Joyetter Luamanu / Samoa Observer)

The United States President Donald Trump’s announcement of a ban on transgender military service took the United States of America’s New Ambassador to Samoa by surprise.

 “Actually it came as a surprise to me,” Scott Brown said when his opinion was sought during his first media interview in Samoa.

Mr. Brown visited last week to present his letter of credentials to the Head of State.

The Ambassador who served 35 years in the military said he believes a person’s preference in terms of gender would not affect their mission.

“I was actually instrumental in reversing the ‘don’t ask don’t tell policy to allow gays in the military,” he said. 

“What I said and what I believe is that how does anyone’s behavior or actions outside of the military affect the mission? 

“The most important thing is the mission. It’s not about how we feel or how we look. It has nothing to do with that. The only thing that is important is the mission.”

Mr. Brown noted that when he advocated to reverse the ‘don’t ask don’t tell policy’ he wanted to see how such behaviours would affect the overall mission of the military.

 “I spoke to Generals on the ground inside and outside of battle areas. I spoke to tremendous amount of military men and women serving to see how it will affect the morale and the ability to do their jobs. 

“And that I also participated and read all the studies and it was conducted in a thoughtful and methodical process and then I voted accordingly.”

Getting back to Trump’s recent announcement, Mr. Brown said he has not read the reasoning behind it. He wondered if there was something from the military “command saying that this is affecting our ability to do our job.”

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