On Friday, the White House announced a new military policy that requires transgendered soldiers to serve according to their birth gender, banning most transgender individuals from the U.S. military.
Last month, the Defense Secretary Jim Mattis recommended that transgender troops be banned after claiming that individuals with a history of “gender dysphoria” negatively impact the military’s effectiveness and that they pose a risk.
“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,” said Mattis.
He also said that having transgender troops “could undermine readiness, disrupt unit cohesion, and impose an unreasonable burden on the military that is not conducive to military effectiveness and lethality and that there were “substantial risks associated with allowing the accession and retention of individuals with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria and require, or have already undertaken, a course of treatment to change their gender.”
In July, Trump tweeted that “the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”
The president’s initial ban was then blocked in court rulings
The memorandum states that the new policy states 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.”
But there are some exceptions.
“According to a Pentagon memo about the policy, exceptions to the ban include people who have been “stable for 36 consecutive months in their biological sex prior to accession,” service members who “do not require a change of gender” and troops who started serving under the Obama administration’s policy prior to the new memo,” writes CNN.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders assured that the policy’s purpose is to make sure that those who are serving meet the mental standards of the U.S. military leaders.
“This new policy will enable the military to apply well-established mental and physical health standards — including those regarding the use of medical drugs — equally to all individuals who want to join and fight for the best military force the world has ever seen,” said Sanders.
However, LGBT advocacy groups claim that this is instead a discriminatory attack on the transgender community.
“What the White House has released tonight is transphobia masquerading as policy. This policy is not based on an evaluation of new evidence. It is reverse-engineered for the sole purpose of carrying out President Trump’s reckless and unconstitutional ban, undermining the ability of transgender service members to serve openly and military readiness as a whole,” writes Joshua Block, senior staff attorney for the ACLU.
It’s unknown how many people really will be impacted by this new policy. The Pentagon estimates that there is anywhere from 2,000 to 11,000 active-duty troops who are transgender.
Author’s note: Trump knew there would be a backlash from this decision, so this time he thoroughly had several experts weigh in on the issue. If they believe that it is the best thing to do for the military, then it is.
Editor’s note: The military is not a place for the confused or the sick or people who will require surgery or psychiatric sessions. Physical and mental health are a requirement for the military and should always be.