June 09, 2017
Rebuilding the military might cost billions of dollars, but there's one change that wouldn't cost a cent: putting a stop to the Left's social engineering. FRC's Peter Sprigg makes that point in an op-ed that has more relevance the closer we get to July 1. That's the date former Defense Secretary Ash Carter set for officially "accepting" people who identify as transgenders into the ranks. With time ticking down to a deadline that could spell disaster for national security, the Army and Marine Corps ramping up their opposition to an agenda that would seriously compromise our military.
In a memo to the Pentagon, branch leaders of those two fighting forces are asking for a delay on the policy of at least two years so that they can gather enough data to "make proper assessment about accepting them for service." As the sources told USA Today, the Army, in particular, is "concerned about the ability of transgender troops to deploy to war zones while receiving [gender] transition treatments." Peter highlights the obvious problems of this in his column for The Hill, explaining that even advocates of transgender service admit that such a change may threaten morale and readiness.
In one journal article, author Allison Ross "admits that transgender service members might not be able to perform in their assigned roles, but have to 'occupy temporary, low-risk jobs that allow them to take time off for the required surgeries' -- and she has the gall to assert that this 'affects military readiness no differently than allowing non-transgender service members to receive medical care for injuries received in battle.'" Others worry that putting out the welcome mat for people who identify as transgender might actually make the military a magnet for people seeking "gender reassignment" procedures at taxpayer expense.
Although Donald Trump was quick to call some of his predecessor's military decisions "ridiculous," he explained that he would rely on the recommendations of his top brass before rolling back the Obama-era rules. So far, Defense Secretary James Mattis hasn't given many clues as to how he would decide the issue. In the past, the four-star Marine general has slammed politicians for imposing "social change" on the military, but few seem to know whether he'll act on those words now.
Since the policy isn't law, it can be changed internally -- which is what a number of conservative groups requested in a letter last month. Signed by both Lt. General Jerry Boykin (U.S. Army-Ret.) and myself, the Conservative Action Project wrote, "President Trump has mandated that his administration restore the strength of our military... The process of strengthening our military will not succeed, however, if military service personnel have to contend with problematic military/social policies imposed by the Obama administration -- policies that actually impede mission readiness, command proficiency, and combat effectiveness." The military regularly discharges service members who are not medically deployable, Peter points out. It would be unfair not to hold individuals who identify as transgender to the same standard.
We applaud the leaders of the Army and Marine Corps for putting their mission -- not political correctness -- first. These are serious and complex issues that directly affect the safety of every American. The military can't afford to waste more time and energy on political distractions that aren't just detrimental for people in that lifestyle -- but for our military at large. For more on this explosive topic, check out FRC's publication, "Should Individuals Who Identify as Transgender Be Allowed to Serve in the Military?"
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.