Wednesday, April 25, 2018

All Military Chiefs Agree No Harm to Units from Transgender Service

Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), as she had with the Top Military Leaders of the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps when they appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee for their Budget Hearings, used the opportunity to question Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein as to whether he was aware of any “issues of unit cohesion, disciplinary problems or issues of morale resulting from open transgender service.” “In the last two weeks Gen. [Mark] Milley, Gen. [Robert] Neller, and Adm. [John] Richardson have told me that they have seen zero reports of issues of cohesion, discipline, morale as a result of open transgender service in their respective service branches,” Gillibrand said, referring to the Chiefs of Staff of the Army, Marine Corps and Navy, respectively. Goldfein said he was not aware of any issues with transgender service members, but emphasized that each case is unique. Goldfein said among the transgender service members he had talked to, he had found a “commitment to serve by each of them.”

Last month the White House announced that it would Leave the Decision to the Service Secretaries on whether or not to allow Transgender Personnel to Serve; but also Directed that a Subset of Transgender Personnel, those with a diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria, would be Prohibited from Serving. Gender Dysphoria is a condition where a Person experiences Discomfort with their Biological Sex.

In his February Guidance to President Trump, Mattis also listed several other Limitations on Transgender Service, including an Extension of the Amount of Time someone would need to be Stable in their Preferred Sex to 36 Months and a Prohibition on Service Members who have Undergone Corrective Surgery.

Critics have said the Gender Dysphoria argument is an attempt to keep All Transgender Personnel from Serving, because “gender dysphoria” is a broadly used Diagnosis used by the Medical Community for Transgender Persons and not Indicative of a more Serious Issue.

The Four Service Chiefs, along with the Chief of the National Guard Bureau and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, comprise the President’s Top Circle of Military Advisers. Each Service Chief’s Testimony marked an unusual Split with the President and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who have Advised that allowing Personnel with Gender Dysphoria to Serve would Harm Unit Cohesion and present an “unreasonable burden on the military.”

The Administration’s Prohibitions on Transgender Service are still being Challenged in the Courts; Four Federal Courts have already Overturned Trump’s previous Ban on New Accessions by Transgender Personnel and the other aspects of the Administration’s Transgender Policy are now part of ongoing Lawsuits.

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