Gastonia, NC Correspondent– After spending a lot of his campaign proclaiming his friendship for the LGBTQ community and his disinterest in discrimination against its members, President Trump is now showing a disturbing tendency to pander to the far right wing of his base. He is making this move purely to generate support from the most fervent of his backers and to (yet again) draw attention away from the complete failure of the Republican Party to follow through on its repeated promises to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and away from the ever-widening investigations into his ties to Russia and the Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.
If you take this from a purely financial standpoint, the cost of providing health care for transgender members of the military is a tiny fraction of the overall amount spent on military health care. If that’s his point, he could save far more by withdrawing support for drug addicts.
So far, not ONE commander has come out with a statement concerning the organizational difficulties of having transgender soldiers serving. Let’s face it: Military service is hardly an easy job, and it’s even tougher for someone who is transgender. For a gay or transgender person to choose military service, they’ve got to really want to serve and have a true dedication to the job.
Barring transgender service members is an empty gesture that will do nothing more than sow discontent and damage the image of the armed forces. We have far better and more important issues to concentrate on than the gender identification issues of a blindingly small fraction of the total number of our men and women in uniform.
Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent– President Donald Trump’s announcement barring transgender individuals from serving in the military was an appropriate action and was one that was determined after considerable consultation with the military branch chiefs and service secretaries. Though the action was to defer transgender enlistments for a six-month’s period, the president did announce that he would “take additional time to evaluate the impact of transgender enlistments on readiness and lethality.”
Secretary of Defense Mattis reiterated that he would take every action necessary to ensure that the military was ready to fight now and in the future, and he further stated that all military actions would be aligned with the larger mission of the military as a whole and that other issues would be set aside that could infringe on the true function of the military. Any extraneous issues that were wasteful and unnecessary would have to be put aside.
Mattis also commented that “Only by instilling budget discipline, by establishing a culture of cost awareness, and by holding ourselves accountable, can we earn the trust and confidence of the Congress and the American people that we are the best possible stewards of taxpayer dollars.”
The defense secretary was likely referring to the over 200 troops who are currently undergoing gender reassignment or have been approved for reassignment at astronomical surgical and ongoing medical costs to the American taxpayer.
The American military and its readiness was never meant to be turned into a social engineering project, and psychological issues of the transgender kind do not have a place in the military, particularly when they involve the military paying for someone to decide whether they want to be a man or a woman. Putting brave Americans in harm’s way because of a leftist experiment should never be considered policy for the military or other forms of highly disciplined protective services.
Transgender confusion has up until recently had its own psychological classification and when emotions and confusion exist in the military where decisions hinge on someone’s life, there is no room for mistakes or identity confusion in the field, particularly when related to combat or direct leadership decisions. Any association with a weapon’s system use would also be questionable. Confusion as to what he or she is there for in combating the enemy would certainly jeopardize anyone serving with them, especially if he or she did not want to shoot or engage in combat.
The president’s decision was right and perhaps the ruling will allow for exceptions to the rule once a woman or man has been transitioned from one sex to the other through private sources outside of the military medical community. Any dependence on the military for further treatment and ongoing support of their condition should never be an option.
If a transgender truly wants to serve and meets all the requirements, mentally and physically, and can prove that he or she can serve in a strict capacity, they may be considered but should not take precedence over someone more capable and totally “unconfused” gender wise.
Owatonna, MN Correspondent– Military service is a unique form of employment. For starters, no other occupation requires the worker to risk his/her life on the simple command of a boss. Also, a certain camaraderie and group chemistry must be developed by those who work together since a squad or platoon must depend upon the backing of each other to minimize the risk of any member of the group being killed or injured in battle.
For those two reasons alone, forcing the military to accept anyone who enlists is not necessarily in the best interest of the country. The reason to have a well-trained, highly skilled military is to ensure victory whenever combat is required. If individuals in any unit are uncomfortable with or lack confidence in any member of the unit, that unit is less likely to succeed on the battlefield. It’s unfortunate that a large number of Americans are sexist, racist, homophobic, anti-gay, anti-transgender, and generally afraid of those who are “different,” but those feelings must be taken into consideration anytime we ask a person to risk his/her life for this country.
Since transgendered individuals have lately become more open with their status and are demanding their share of recognition and non-discrimination, I support their right to serve in the military. However, for the above reasons I’m not supportive if they wish to serve in combat units.
Another factor to consider is the all-volunteer nature of the military. I’m a Conscientious Objector, so I’d rather have a volunteer military than have the draft reinstated, which might force anyone who doesn’t support armed conflict to take up a weapon. That would also force individuals to serve with those they might not care to work with, such as transgender soldiers.
President Trump made what appears to be a unilateral decision, similar to his ban on travelers coming from certain Muslim countries. That was not an appropriate action since he lacks any military experience. He should have delegated that decision to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and had them consult with their best advisors on the subject to come up with reasoned explanations of why transgendered individuals should or should not be allowed to join the military.
Sheffield, Jamaica Correspondent-There are more pervasive and pressing matters that Mr. Trump should concern himself with. As the President of the prestigious and ‘Great’ America, shouldn’t he be working overnight to bring back slavery, hatred against anyone that’s against America, and those who aren’t privileged? No, but instead, he’s now harassing transgenders by dictating that they cannot serve in the United States military.
While I do not tolerate the lifestyle of transgenders, I do believe they are human with feelings and emotions just as we are. This is hardly an appropriate action taken by the President. Why is it that they cannot serve in the United States military? I wait with bated breath while Mr. Trump honestly and openly address the situation.
A transgender’s sexual orientation does not define their skills and talents. If a heterosexual individual can do it, they can too.
Military service is hard work. It takes competence and dedication to stick to their training and commitment. They too have the competence to do it.
Lastly, they are human too and should be treated as such. The way I see it, Trump should not prohibit these individuals from demonstrating their patriotic spirit to America. However, it is frightening that anyone would want to throw their life away for America (or any other country). It’s simply not worth it. Trump’s decision was inappropriate but those transgenders should be grateful for that decision as they get to preserve their lives instead of fighting against another country for nothing.