In an extremely controversial move the Pentagon is going to announce, on July 1st, that transgender people will be able to openly serve in the military.
The decision has received intense blowback with widespread criticism claiming that transgender people make up only 0.2% – 0.3% of the American population. The main concern is that their mental stability and chemical imbalances in some transgender people as they undergo radical changes in their bodies that they need to chemically sustain, has brought into question their psychological capacity to deal intense situations where lives may be on the line.
An anonymous source told the Military Times that Pentagon officials are going to finalize the details of the plan on Monday and the plan could be signed off on by Wednesday.
Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work would first sign off then Defense Secretary Ash Carter would sign off on the plan and the announcement could be just before July 1st weekend. The plan would take about a year to roll out to all branches since it affects recruiting, housing, uniforms, food, hormonal accommodations and more.
The plan would direct each branch of the armed services over a one-year period to implement new policies affecting recruiting, housing and uniforms for transgender troops, one official said.
Congress is highly skeptical of the move and many think this is more of a politically correct move pushing a political agenda based on PR and not on what would be the best for the military to ensure maximum efficiency and results.
Many are against the move because as one active duty service member told American Military News, “the military should not be a politically correct experiment when lives are on the line.”
Republican Congressman Mac Thornberry, who chairs the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, said Ash Carter had still not answered some of its questions about the move.
Thornberry and other members of Congress wanted to know about costs associated with everything ranging from military barrack situations, bathrooms on bases across the world, would there be discipline for “insensitive language” and more.
To many this is a pandora’s box that is just simply not needed.
Thornberry said, “If reports are correct, I believe Secretary Carter has put the political agenda of a departing administration ahead of the military’s readiness crisis,”
Estimates of how many transgender people serve in the military right now range from 4,000 to 15,000 out of the total 1.3 million active duty service members or roughly 0.003% of the military.
Human Rights Campaign, a pro-LGBT advocacy group that has been pushing this issue. HRC President Chad Griffin released a statement,
“At long last, thousands of brave transgender patriots will be able to serve our nation openly with the respect they deserve. This historic announcement will not only extend long-overdue recognition to thousands of transgender service members, it will strengthen our military and our nation. By turning the page on this disgraceful policy, we will now be able to recruit and retain the very best candidates, rather than discharging highly-trained, talented transgender service members for no other reason than who they are.”