Trump Chooses Readiness for Real War Over Culture War
The president issued a directive for transgender troops that provides a workable compromise.
Lost in all the screaming, pearl-clutching and whining over the crap-sandwich omnibus, which President Donald Trump told the American people was a crap sandwich before signing it, was the fact that Trump also made a big decision on military readiness. He issued a new directive in line with recommendations made by Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
The gist of the policy is that those who have undergone gender-reassignment surgery are disqualified from serving, as are those who are transitioning. Some service members are being grandfathered in, but they have to meet deployability standards. Those diagnosed with gender dysphoria can serve, provided they show three years of medical stability.
First of all, many Americans — including at least two of your Patriot Post team members — are what might be called “involuntary civilians” due to medical issues or history. There’s a whole list of disqualifying medical conditions available at Military.com.
Now compare the sex-transition process as described by Buzzfeed (not exactly a conservative bastion) or WebMD (generally non-political) to having been prescribed a couple of medications for inflammatory bowel disease (a disqualifier for enlistment), having a hernia, or poor vision (which wiped out the military career of one Tom Clancy and kept Ronald Reagan stateside in World War II).
WebMD describes some very major surgical procedures in the sex-transition process. These are only “necessary” because of a serious mental condition called gender dysphoria, and that’s not to mention a high likelihood of suffering post-surgery anxiety or depression, as well as physical complications arising from the reassignment surgery. After reading those sites, ask yourself this question: Would I consider someone going through that process as being able to deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan for a year?
The top consideration for the United State military is to have personnel ready for combat. There are already other worrying signs that some standards are being loosened, including a Marine Corps decision that completing the combat endurance test would not be a graduation requirement (one a few dozen women failed to complete) for the Infantry Officer’s Course. If someone is medically unable to deploy for a length of time, then another person must go in their place.
Here’s a dirty little secret about the military: Its main purpose isn’t to “reflect America,” or to advance social acceptance of certain favored leftist traits; it’s to defend this country. That is accomplished by killing the bad guys, and breaking (or taking) their stuff, preferably in a manner that convinces other would-be bad actors on the international scene to not do anything to threaten America.
Again, some on The Patriot Post team have felt the pain of being told we can’t serve our country. None of us, however, really understand what going through gender dysphoria is like. The new military guidelines, though, seem to strike a reasonable balance. This author believes those with gender dysphoria should be able to serve, but if it reaches the point where the transition process must be started, then the best option is to grant them a medical discharge, and if they have served honorably, cover the costs of the process. After all, they did volunteer to lay down their lives for this country. What must not happen is for the military to become the vehicle to pay for the transitions of all comers.