President Donald Trump said Monday he is considering a waiver that would permit service academy athletes to play pro sports before performing their military service.
Trump announced the news at a White House event wherein he honored the U.S. Military Academy football team, the Army Black Knights, for winning their college football series.
Trump presented the commander-in-chief’s trophy to the Army Black Knights in the White House Rose Garden on Monday. The president presents this trophy each year to either the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, or the U.S. Air Force Academy, according to CBS News.
The president said that this would help with recruiting, according to Bloomberg.
“I think that sounds good, right?” Trump asked the smiling soldiers standing behind him, according to a video released by Politico.
While hosting the Army West Point football team in the Rose Garden, Trump said he'd consider a wavier for all military academy athletes that would allow them to play professionally before fulfilling their service obligations. More in Playbook PM: https://t.co/3HEHbFI7fz pic.twitter.com/PXrZ2BPtpb
— POLITICO (@politico) May 6, 2019
The Department of Defense began allowing service member athletes to apply to the Ready Reserve and defer their military service in order go pro in 2016. However, just as athletes were preparing to be drafted into the National Football League in 2017, the Department of Defense revised this policy, according to the Military Times.
A Pentagon spokeswoman said officers’ education and military training come at taxpayer dollars intended to create the American military.
“Our military academies exist to develop future officers who enhance the readiness and the lethality of our military services,” Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement in 2017, according to the Military Times. “Graduates enjoy the extraordinary benefit of a military academy education at taxpayer expense.”
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