James Stewart, the acting head of personnel at the Pentagon, threw down the gauntlet concerning members of the armed forces who claim transgender status.
Stewart emphasized individuals hoping to enlist in the military will be treated and identified by their biology and not their claim of gender identity. And as long as they meet all military standards, they will be treated as members of their biological sex.
The policy instituted in 2018 by President Trump, reverses former President Obama’s pro-transgender policy, which allowed transgender individuals to serve openly within the military claiming “gender identity” as a form of sexual identity — rather then what appears on their birth certificate.
At the time, well funded progressive and transgender groups encouraged by Obama’s pro-transgender philosophy allowed the military a one year review in determining how to implement the pro-transgender policy, along with how to incorporate new transgender recruits into the military.
However, “elections have consequences,” and after the historic win in 2016, President Trump reinstituted the biological differences between the two sexes.
The President’s policy doesn’t discriminate against how someone prefers to identify themselves as, however his “bright line” policy effectively treats transgender claims as “personal issues,” and officially rejects Obama’s policy, which required the Pentagon to record service members’ sex by “gender identity,” and not by sex.
The hot-button issue was once again addressed on Wednesday before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, marking the first time Congress has heard testimony about active-duty transgender service members’ experiences in the military.
Appearing before the Committee were 5-transgender members currently serving on active duty, highlighting their military accomplishments and testifying that their gender identity did not affect their military readiness.
Navy Lieutenant Commander Blake Dremann (one of the five) testified, “Each time a mission or capability-irrelevant barrier was removed, I rose to the occasion. I succeeded as a submariner and was ranked the top supply officer out of 14 supply officers in the squad.”
Subcommittee Chairwoman Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Cal) said:
“Despite living in a nation where many discriminate against you, you made a choice that fewer and fewer Americans make: you joined the military and risked your lives and your families’ well beings for our safety. And how has the administration thanked you? By treating you like a liability, not an asset, by maliciously jeopardizing your careers and trivializing your sacrifice.”
However on the flip side of Speier’s analogy, Subcommittee Ranking Republican Member, Rep. Trent Kelly appeared to side with the administration reinstituted policy saying, “It is an unfortunate reality that not every person who desires to serve in the military meets the stringent medical and behavioral health standards needed to maintain a ready and resilient force,”
Adding, “However, it only makes sense that any individual who can meet these standards and is otherwise qualified should be allowed to serve.”
The complex issue of “transgender rights” is still a work in progress regarding the roughly 2-million individuals within the United States who claim to some degree they’re transgender, and perhaps that’s the underlining issue in that few individuals who dress themselves up as women, actually undergo cosmetic surgery of the genitals. Roughly only about 4,100 individuals thus far have been surgically altered.
As for the issue of having transgender individuals within the military, first and foremost the military is not a democracy, there are standards and rules that must be followed, and uniformity is the key to having a successful fighting force. Moreover, the military should never be used for social experimentation.
Under the Obama Administrations Transgender Policy, military personnel were allowed free cosmetic genital surgery. However, fewer than 25 soldiers requested for the surgery. To date, the transgender percentage within the military is just one person for every 84,000 service members.