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Sailors man the rails aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (Image: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Adam K. Thomas/Released)
President Trump announced on Wednesday the U.S. government will not allow transgender people to “to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military.”
Trump announces ban on transgender individuals serving in the the U.S. military
President Trump announced on Wednesday that transgender individuals may not serve in the U.S. military. Trump noted that the decision was made after consultations with generals and military experts, and that the decision was being made in order to permit the military to focus on its core purpose; “decisive and overwhelming victory.”
“Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.” – President Donald Trump
The President tweeted, “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”
A Pentagon spokesman referred all inquiries to the White House for clarification. Navy Capt. Jeff Davis reportedly said, “We refer all questions about the President’s statements to the White House.” Capt. Davis added, “We will continue to work closely with the White House to address the new guidance provided by the Commander-in-Chief on transgender individuals serving the military. We will provide revised guidance to the Department in the near future.”
Announcement puts an end to the debate
Last year, then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that transgender people who were already in the military would be permitted to serve openly. Carter directed service chiefs to come up with a policy to allow recruitment officials to deal with transgender applicants by July 1. However, on June 30, then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced a delay in the implementation of that policy. On July 18, Gen. Paul Selva, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, explained the delay, “Our decision to delay the accessions of transgender individuals into the services was largely based on a disagreement on the science of how mental health care and hormone therapy for transgender individuals would help solve their medical issues that are associated with gender dysphoria”.
At his confirmation hearing in January, General Mattis was asked whether he believed that allowing LGBT Americans to serve in the military would undermine the military’s mission. Mattis responded, “Frankly, senator, I’ve never cared much about two consenting adults and who they go to bed with.”
What is Gender Dysphoria?
Transgender individuals are people with “gender dysphoria”. The American Psychiatric Association defines gender dysphoria as a mental disorder, that “involves a conflict between a person’s physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify.” It also notes, “People with gender dysphoria may often experience significant distress and/or problems functioning.” The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a standard reference manual used by the psychiatric industry, notes that some individuals with this disorder may “undertake self-harm behaviors.”
In a report last year, the Rand Corp. estimated that 2,450 transgender people serve as active U.S. service members, with another 1,510 in the reserve. The report noted that, based on survey data and private health insurance claims data, between 1% to 10% of these service members receive transition-related care each year that disrupts their ability to deploy. Having up to 10% of their service members perpetually unavailable to fulfill their duty is viewed by military planners as an unacceptable situation. President Trump noted the “tremendous medical costs and disruption” of transgender persons serving in the military when he made his announcement today.
Attempting to introduce “diversity” into the ranks is opposite to the military’s purpose
Supporters of allowing transgender personnel to serve in the military insist that it improves force readiness by introducing “diversity” into military ranks. Such opinions, however, are viewed with derision by almost all military experts, who point out that “diversity” is opposite to the military’s goal, which is to weld a unified, disciplined, obedient fighting force, out of separate, undisciplined, often-rebellious individuals. The last thing military leaders want, they point out, is “diversity”. In the military, conformity and unity is the goal.
The rules that allowed transgender individuals to serve in the military were written by former President Barack Obama’s Pentagon. Those rules, say many in the military, amounted to little more than an attempt at “social engineering” that, while adding little real benefit to the armed services, was extremely costly and counter-productive to the military’s purpose of defending the nation.
“Military service is a privilege, not a right”
House lawmakers debated the issue of transgender personnel in June, with many noting the hypocrisy of compromising the nation’s military to advance a political agenda.
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo), during debate on the annual defense authorization bill before the House Armed Services Committee, sharply criticized those wishing to introduce the subject of transgender service members into the funding discussion, “Military service is a privilege, not a right”, she said, adding, “It is predicated on the singular goal of winning the war and defeating the enemy. All decisions on personnel and funding should be made with this in mind.”
Rep. Duncan Hunter, (R-CA), who served with the Marine Corps in Iraq and Afghanistan, agreed with Hartzler, stating that the former policy of allowing transgender persons to serve in the armed forces, “Doesn’t make (troops) more effective or efficient or deadly. What it does is distract everybody.”
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Keywords: gender dysphoria, Jim Mattis, Secretary Ash Carter, transgender in the military, Trump.