The U.S. Army published a mandatory training slideshow describing how the service will handle the gender pronouns for service members who change their preferred gender marker while serving. Images of that slideshow leaked last week but were confirmed by an Army spokesperson.
The slide show, which was first reported by the Washington Free Beacon last week, describes at least two different scenarios involving the terms “assigned male at birth” and “assigned female at birth.” The leaked slideshow was confirmed to be legitimate by an Army spokesman who said it is part of “mandatory training.”
In the training slideshow, the Army presents a pair of scenarios to explain how soldiers may identify with a gender that doesn’t correspond to their biological sex and how they have to receive a gender dysphoria diagnosis in order to begin the process of changing their gender marker with the Army.
In one scenario, a soldier who is “assigned male at birth” identifies as female. The slide states that the “soldier lives as a female during his off-duty hours. He has no medical diagnosis, does not plan to seek medical treatment, and does not experience significant distress relating to his gender identity.”
In that first scenario, the Army advises leaders to treat that male soldier with dignity but does not require further action unless the soldier later requests to identify as female during work hours. The Army then advises that the soldier should be directed to see a medical provider to begin the process of changing his gender marker.
In a second scenario, the Army describes a soldier who is “assigned female at birth.” The scenario adds that the soldier “tells her first sergeant that she identifies as male and would like to be treated as a male” but has not yet seen a medical provider.
In that second scenario, the Army training documents state that the female soldier is to be treated with respect but advise that soldier that the Army recognize her by her existing gender marker in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) and is responsible to meet all dress and grooming standards corresponding with that marker. The Army then advises that if the female soldier wishes to change that gender marker, she must see a medical provider, adding that “gender transition in the Army begins when a soldier receives a diagnosis from a military medical provider indicating that a Soldier’s gender transition is medically necessary.”
In response to a Washington Free Beacon request for comment, an Army spokesman said, “We remain committed to treating all soldiers with dignity and respect while ensuring good order and discipline. Soldiers who meet those standards can serve openly in their self-identified gender.”
Dakota Wood, a Marine Corps veteran who specializes in defense issues at the conservative Heritage Foundation, told the Washington Free Beacon that the terms “assigned male/female at birth” have largely been used by the progressive political left in advocating for the transgender community.
“A telling phrase in the presentation—’assigned (male or female) at birth’—reveals that whoever developed the presentation material, and the policy being implemented, accepts the argument that gender is an artificial construct rather than a biological reality,” Wood told the Washington Free Beacon. “This is a highly controversial argument promoted by the progressive left and rejected by the conservative right.”
“Using such examples to illustrate instances where Army leaders need to treat a soldier in one way or another highlights the types of social policies being imposed on the military services. There are a great many people in the military, arguably the vast majority, who do not agree with this manufactured construct,” Wood continued.
Wood also said that compelling soldiers “to accept the premise—that one can choose their gender and therefore change how they are to be treated—creates frictions within organizations that are dependent on unity and cohesion to be successful in combat.”
The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) did not respond to an American Military News request for comment at the time of this publication.