After Review – Transgender Individuals May Not Serve, Except in Certain Circumstances
Yesterday, President Trump finalized his policy from 2017 by banning transgender individuals from serving in the United States Armed Forces. The ban has already faced several legal challenges, and the leaders of the military are requested to put in place whatever policies they choose in order to manage the ban. The military may make exceptions as they see fit.
This whole mess began when then President Obama allowed transgenders to join the military in 2016 without Congressional approval (without benefit of a law to back it up). Of course in yesterday’s action, the left went berserk, calling Trump a monster for his memo. The problem is that they are not reading the rules.
The original ban in July of 2017 contained a caveat- a study would be implemented and SecDef James Mattis would review its findings. He did so, and turned those findings into the President earlier this year. The President revoked that original memo and replaced it with the new one.
The memo states that “the policies set forth by the Secretary of Defense state that transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria — individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery — are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances.”
Transgenders have always been listed as a “behavioral disorder” in the military. Obama’s activism removed that distinction.
“Transgenderism had been banned in the U.S. military since the 1963 Army Regulation 40–501 at ¶ 6–32(b) which stated, ‘behavior disorders as evidenced by … transvestism.’
In other words, it had been classified as a behavioral disorder.
The July 2, 2012 Defense Department Instruction on ‘Medical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, or Induction in the Military Services’ states that candidates for military service shall not have ‘[c]urrent or history of psychosexual conditions, including but not limited to transsexualism, exhibitionism, transvestism, voyeurism, and other paraphilias’.”
Part of the issue with transgenders is the cost: which has been estimated at $1.9 to $3.7 Billion over 10 years. Having to replace those troops while they are out during surgery contributes to the costs.
This issue is much different than the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” situation, becuase that one had to be repealed by law. Since Obama issued his order without the legal basis, it only had to be changed by memorandum.
Courts have initiated an injunction on the President’s 2017 order, which resulted in one transgender individual signing a contract to join the military on January 1. But James Mattis has been concerned with troop “lethality” and function.
“In my professional judgment, these policies will place the Department of Defense in the strongest position to protect the American people, to fight and win America’s wars, and to ensure the survival and success of our service members around the world…it could could undermine readiness, disrupt unit cohesion, and impose an unreasonable burden on the military that is not conducive to military effectiveness and lethality.” James Mattis in his recommendations to the President.
Military leadership is charged with deciding the policies, and may in fact allow some transgender troops to continue to serve.
Featured photo: US Marine Corps recruiting depot – photo by Jose Gonzalez, USMC