The Speed of Military Bureaucracy Annoys Those Waiting for Policies to Allow Transgender Troops

Pentagon announced planned changes last year but has gone silent.


Pride poster
Department of Defense

June is gay (or LGBT, if you prefer) pride month in communities across the country. Many federal agencies have their own events to show their gay and transgender employees that they care (and maybe pat themselves on the back in the process).

The Pentagon held an event on Wednesday to honor pride month. But there's a bit of a snag. Almost a year ago Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced plans to lift a complete ban on transgender troops serving openly and put together a working group to hammer out policies to make it happen. A final announcement on how all that would work was expected in May. May has come and gone and there's no indication on what those policies might be. Some are not pleased. From a commentary by former Army officer Sue Fulton, who declined to attend this year's event, in The Advocate:

Pentagon Pride theme is not "Gay Pride." It's "LGBT Pride." It's been almost a year since Defense Secretary Ash Carter stopped discharging transgender service members and announced a review of the Pentagon's policy, expecting resolution in six months. We at SPARTA, along with the National Center for Transgender Equality and the Palm Center, have answered every question posed to us. We've addressed every scenario. And still we wait.

In the past month, President Obama at the Air Force Academy, Vice President Biden at West Point, Secretary Fanning in his Capital Pride speech, all emphasized changes to our Armed Forces that have made us stronger: integration in the 1940s, expanding roles of women, ending "don't ask, don't tell." They echoed Carter's previous remarks that "anyone who is qualified to serve should be allowed to serve." That widening of diversity allows us to leverage the best talent. And so our transgender troops wait, as they put their lives on the line.

Fulton's organization calculates that there are around 13,000 transgender members of the military. A report from UCLA's Williams Institute puts the number at more than 15,000, including the National Guard and reserves.

As U.S. News and World Report notes, there are some practical considerations for accommodating transgender troops that have to be hammered out. This is not about worries over who uses which bathroom:

The process has, however, been plagued by practical considerations. Concerns remain over how to determine whether a service member who undergoes a gender transition remains fit for service, and when they would return to their units, for example, or, in certain cases, how those requiring medication would be able to access it in war zones and other austere environments where the military operates.

There is the issue that increasingly, each transgender person's destination in this process is unique. It wasn't so long ago that most assumed that a transgender person's goal was to surgically transition to the opposite sex. That's no longer necessarily the case or goal for all who identify as transgender, so what "accommodation" may look like for transgender troops is going to have to be different from how the military made room for gay and lesbian troops.

Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said there should be some sort of announcement on new policies "soon."

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  1. Seems like the main question is “can this person still do the job they swore to do?” Not seeing how transitioning would affect that much. So what’s the big deal? Other than politics, of course.

    1. Set standards appropriate to the job and enforce them. It’s not hard.

      Of course, every pol wants to beat his/her pet issue into every program.

      1. Something something getting out of hand…

      2. since the military has different PT standards, which ones will the trans person be held to?

        1. If they identify as male, let them be judged by the male PT standards.

        2. Well, the obvious answer is that the military shouldn’t have different PT standards.

          1. Since when has any cumbersome bureaucracy supported the obvious answer?

          2. while that is true, different standards remain the fact. So when Bob says he’s a woman, is he judged as a man or as a woman? This is what happens when the political outweighs the practical, and when every organizations are used as social petrie dishes to satisfy some constituency.

            1. ^ This. As physical fitness test scores figure into promotion, the disparities in moving male-female (or female-to, for that matter) will impact who gets promoted and when.

              Of course, the obvious answer will be to discount physical fitness altogether, because fairness.

          3. And then how exactly do you expect to fix the feelings of the persons who can’t meet those standards? Hmmm, smart guy?

            We all know that the fundamental purpose of the military is to enact social change and validate victimized groups’ feelings. And fixed physical training standards put that vital mission in jeopardy.

            What kind of Neanderthal doesn’t understand that.

            1. These are the problems of a country so militarily dominant that it cannot be seriously challenged, therefore it allows room for idiocy like this to take hold.

              1. …and if we’re going to (try to) reduce the military budget, shouldn’t things like this be less of a priority? I mean, IIRC we’re retrofitting submarines to have co-ed crews – is that militarily necessary?

      3. Aaaand – there’s your problem.

        The military has always had different standards for certain performance metrics (and other things) depending on whether you’re male or female, for example, physical fitness training requirements or whether or not you get your head shaved in basic. That’s on top of ‘diversity’ initiatives.

        It’d be nice if this would push them towards a unisex set of standards for each MOS/rate and for military-wide things – no more ‘women can or can not do this or that’ but ‘if you can meet these standards you’re in, if not find something else to do’ – but it won’t.

        Instead it will spawn a whole new internal bureaucracy devoted to determining who’s ‘cheating’ and who’s ‘legitimate’ – same as they’ve done with marriage and the extra benefits that come with that.

        1. Bureaucrats have to build their empires. Otherwise it’s anarchy!

          1. Partially. But, also partially because uniform standards would undermine the political projects being pushed with these initiatives. The bulk of women failing out because they can’t hack the standards would involve admitting that, well, most women can’t hack the standards. Then you’re stuck with trying to tell angry politicians that their pet projects are based on fantasies.

            1. there, now… you’ve hit at the rot of it, er, I meant, root. Military can NOT be run by politicians, and ever since the Second German War that’s been increasingly the case. When politicians intervene and force standards to change, how is that different than the old Brit tradition/scam of officers being politically appointed, or assuming a certain position due to their birth, or even buying a commissio? Look where Britain are now…
              The War for our Independence was lost by Britain because of officers not so good at officering, yet holding their commissions on “other” qualifications. Twenty or so years ago, Britain were so compromised militarily they could not even take over the Falkland Islands, held by a determined byt third rate nation. Which still holds them today. When “dandies” prance and strut, the soldiers tend to give up, refusing to honour them. Wait till the first trannie “officer” tries to take command of a scruffy MANLY outfit and conform them to her will……… or going the other way, the first male taking command of a group of pretty tough women who mean business.. but cannot respect their CO.

    2. We still really don’t know what effects transitioning is going to have on a specific person, for one thing. Then, as Shackford notes, there are accommodations that must be made for some re: shipping hormones or whatever to the front lines.

      So, there are a bunch of issues with this that rightfully take time to contemplate.

      1. No special accommodations. Period.

        1. No special accommodations – then all the diabetics get discharged or have to find their own insulin supply on the front line.

          But that also answers arbitrary’s issue – we can already support troops with life-threatening (if untreated) chronic illnesses during deployments. Getting sex hormone pills to a soldier is no more of a challenge than getting thyroid hormone pills to him and we can already do the latter on a routine basis.

          1. We let diabetics serve?! Sheesh.

            (Not sure if I’m serious. Where does one draw the line who is “fit” enough to serve?)

          2. Wait, we let diabetics on the front line? As a diabetic, that doesn’t sound advisable for my own health, much less the performance of the unit.

          3. Insulin dependent and type 1 diabetics can’t join the military.

            1. thanks for the confirmantion. I had thought this was so, and it is.

              anyone dependent on a specific substance to survive cannot be on the frontlines, or even in forward support positions.

          4. Type I diabetics most certainly do NOT serve in front line capacities. As a matter of fact, I thought Type I was an automatic disqualifier from service (but I can’t remember for sure).
            Even a Type II who needs insulin would not be allowed combat status.

            And testosterone isn’t usually supplied in a pill due to effects on the liver. It is usually intramuscular injections, gels, creams or patches. All of which are problematic during combat.

            And 15,000 transsexuals (or transgenders?) in the US Military? I am going to call bullshit on that one.

            1. Type II’s serve on Navy combat ships – it wouldn’t surprise me if they served with forward depoloyed AF units either.

              As for ‘combat’ – nobody’s taking anything *during combat*. But fighting does not make up 100% of a soldier’s day even during the active phases of invasion.

              Anyway – diabetes may be hyperbole, but no accommodations means no glasses, no allergy medicine, no nothing. There’s not a bright line of ‘needs accommodation’ and ‘doesn’t’, there’s a continuum and we’re just arguing over where to draw the further boundary.

              Bear – yeah, I don’t know. As always how things are counted matters and advocacy groups love to inflate numbers by adding in marginally related things and saying they are that thing.

              There could be 15,000 transexuals, transgenders, *transvestites* (who, thankfully are easy to accommmodate – just let them wear the skirt;)), and whatever in order to get that number as high as possible.

              Ultimately, my opinion is that a fully transitioned person should be able to serve – assuming that there are no other disqualifying conditions – but that the transition itself is a long process and requires periods of unavailability for duty. As such I don’t see it in the military’s in interest to provide transition services but the option for a ‘sabbatical’ type of leave to allow a servicemember to do this on their own would be acceptable (to me).

              1. “Anyway – diabetes may be hyperbole, but no accommodations means no glasses, no allergy medicine, no nothing. There’s not a bright line of ‘needs accommodation’ and ‘doesn’t'”

                “Can’t live without it” is a pretty bright line, in the case of type 1 diabetics, and I imagine, other illnesses. I suspect if you have to take a daily medicine to keep you alive, that’s a, disqualifier for military service.

                I don’t think any transition related medication is that important, so maybe choosing diabetes wasn’t the right way to go, since it is a pretty inexact comparison.

                1. Type 2 diabetes does not require daily medication to survive – for the worst cases it does but many are able to get by with diet and exercise changes.

            2. Big difference between what they will allow a candidate to enter service with (illness-wise) and what they will allow for service members whose illness develops while on active duty. FYI: ~70% of all USN personnel on flight status have some sort of medical waiver.

  2. Do D Pride? Dick Pride? Do Dick Pride? Way to erase transwomen and cislesbians, tranmophobes.

  3. Good goddamn. Everywhere you turn, .05% of the population – if that – is the theme of everything. You’re in the fucking Army; you “identity” as soldiers. Period. Full stop.

    1. You’re off by ~two decimal points.

      Yes, it’s absurd.

      1. 5% of the population is trans? Cite definitely needed.

        1. by “if that”, I suspect he meant to move the decimal in the other direction.

          1. Five ten-thousandths of one percent? That seems under if anything.

            1. I don’t know, what percent of the population is affected by other body dysmorphic delusions?

              1. Not a clue. But five ten-thousandths of one percent of America is about 1,600 people. There are probably more trannies in NYC than that.

                1. Not all trannies actually believe they are women.

                2. Oops, you’re right. I meant one decimal point. The figure I’ve heard it’s in the low tens of thousands.

              2. Furries are a distressingly common phenomenon on the internet.

                1. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know how you know that.

            2. From the incredibly sympathetic wiki piece–

              ” It is estimated that about 0.005% to 0.014% of males and 0.002% to 0.003% of females would be diagnosed with gender dysphoria, based on current diagnostic criteria”

              The .3% number is arrived at by including those who don’t bother with a diagnosis, and just announce that they’re trans of one form or another.

          2. I’d guess that the number is in tenths of a percent, but no doubt, it’s an amazingly small number.

            I hate to be insensitive, but really, the amount of handwringing seems disproportionate.

            1. Too lazy to go find a link, but I’ve read 0.3% for trans (have also seen one that was much smaller, but they had an ax to grind to I don’t trust it).

              1. Best references I could find in a quick Google show 0.2-0.3%. The ((())) has good instincts!

      2. That would be less than 2,000 people in the entire country; you don’t actually believe that, do you?

      1. Do trans women actually get periods?

        1. First, what do you mean by “trans woman”, Mrs. Garrison or the other transition?

          Second, I suppose they would have to stop a biological female from ovulating before they sew up his snatch and attach a dick, or there would be fatal complications.

          1. I believe that by current PC parlance a trans woman is a biological man who thinks he is a woman.

            1. that’s why retaining the specific personal pronoun relating to the visible equipment is easiest. There is no question then.

              If it dangles, the one who has it is a HE.

              If it tucks, the one who has it is a SHE.

        2. They should be required to, in order to keep the playing field level.

          1. Yes, once a month, they should be injected with a combination of drugs and hormones that renders them bloated, gives them cramps and headaches, and makes them feel run down for five days. We could appoint a special bureaucracy for this, maybe an office of the Handicapper General, if you will.

    2. What about Army Doggies who try to transition to Marines?

      Do we have to accommodate them?

  4. “They echoed Carter’s previous remarks that “anyone who is qualified to serve should be allowed to serve.””

    The qualifications will, of course, be changed to meet political considerations.

  5. They want in now?! Corporal Klinger is spinning in his grave.

    1. Yeah, to hide the boner they just gave him!

  6. No comment.

    1. You’re showing your no commenting privilege.

  7. While I appreciate the desire to serve, there are just some practical impediments that may not have a solution.

      1. Words fail.

    1. The first time I peed in a military facility, it was during my induction physical. They instructed us to provide a pee sample for drug testing. The room was set up solely for drug testing. When you walked in you found yourself in a rectangular room. On the wall opposite the doorway was a huge window and and open door. There were about 20 urinals on the walls to each side, set up so that you could see our penises from the window. And three guys were watching us through the window, staring at our manly bits to confirm we actually peed in the cups. I had never peed while someone stared at my dick before (at least not stared so obviously), and my urethral sphincter clenched tightly. It took me five minutes to dribble out a barely adequate sample.

      1. By the time you got out though, you were comfortable enough with a dude watching that you could deliberately make him stand there and watch as you dropped a deuce.

        1. +1 Colonel Cathcart

      2. When I went through MEPS, I simply couldn’t go with those guys staring at me. I tried, tried again, over and over again, couldn’t do it. So they told me to drink water until I had to piss. So I drank probably two gallons of water over the next hour or so, but I still couldn’t. At the end of the day, when they were ready to kick me out and close up (and make me have to do all of MEPS over again), sheer volume won the day and I gave them my sample.

        And then I had to piss constantly for the rest of the day.

        1. so, it works is what you’re saying.

          1. Sure. Causes intense bladder pain, but sure.

  8. How about anything that can negatively affect (or anything that is an extra expense, burden, etc. that fails to enhance), combat effectiveness gets shit canned since the purpose of the military is to break shit and kill people, and it is not the place for social experiments.

    1. The go-to response to that is, “that’s what they said about racially integrating the armed forces!”

      1. Racially integrating the armed forces helped them break shit and kill people.

        *thinks for a sec*

        Army needs more angry lesbians.

      2. And the answer is “so what”? Is gender now something immutable that you were born with, that requires no special accomodations, like race? Because if that’s the case, it negates the issue anyway.

        1. Believe it or not, I’m not endorsing that analogy.

          1. I didn’t think you were, I just figured I’d provide an answer anyway.

            1. Yep, it’s sure interesting how gay people were “born that way” but the way they were born means nothing to the trans….

              Progs, which one is it?

              1. It’s whichever one advances the proggy SJW agenda. Your calls for rationality are just manifestations of your cis-hetero shitlord privilege and is a way of oppressing and othering people who are differently-somethinged.

      3. There was never a valid argument to that, and incredible amounts of examples disproving those theses.

        Being medically unable to deploy world-wide should be a hard-stop disqualifier for almost* anyone in the military.

        *Exceptions for qualified senior personnel with service related issues that can support in other fashions

    2. How about anything that can negatively affect (or anything that is an extra expense, burden, etc. that fails to enhance), combat effectiveness gets shit canned since the purpose of the military is to break shit and kill people, and it is not the place for social experiments.

      Whoa, hey, slow down you barbarian. We have a modern military, one that ought to be well equipped to allow anyone to serve, regardless of their feelings about their downstairs mix-up. Sheesh, next you’ll be asking for common standards of physical and mental performance to hold against them.

      1. Mobile suits. Boom! Problem solved.

        1. On the bounce! You apes wanna live forever?

          1. I’ve thought about adding “on the bounce” to my daily vocabulary, but I already get beat up on the regular.

            1. Florida Woman perks up at the phrase ‘on the bounce’.

    3. False. The purpose of the military is to build stuff and hold events to honor pride month, old timer. Get with the program.

      1. Silly me and my old-fashioned ways!
        GET OFF MY LAWN! *Shakes fist*

  9. I just had a vivid dream that I was really slim and passed the Army physical endurance test. Where do I sign up?

    1. Its the *Army* physical endurance test.

      They’ll take you right now.

      1. Wow, that guy must have had the same dream!

      2. Holy shit, is that for real?

        1. Imma say… ARNG soldier working on eating his way out of a deployment.

  10. That’s no longer necessarily the case or goal for all who identify as transgender, so what “accommodation” may look like for transgender troops is going to have to be different from how the military made room for gay and lesbian troops.

    Thank you for saying this, Scott, because there are some people right here on these boards that seem to think that Transgender only includes people that have been through 36 months of hormone therapy, surgery, and had their sex legally changed by the state.

    1. No, that’s the “treatment,” in the sense that putting on a fancy hat and uniform and riding around on a white horse is the treatment for thinking you’re Napoleon.

      1. So what about people who think they are Napoleon, should they be brought in as an Lieutenant, Field Marshal or Emperor and what bathroom should they use?

        1. For the latter question, someone said Waterloo so I’ll steal that answer.

      2. That’s not the point I’m driving at. the point I’m making is that some people still cling to the notion that identifying the Transgender is an institutionally easy thing to do because the metrics I listed above were widely accepted. Now that law is beginning to carve out special legal exceptions for the transgendered, that kind of rigorous regimen and commitment no longer apply.

        1. I don’t understand why the military needs to make physical accommodations for how one feels.

          If they are physically male, they get assignments typically made for physical males.

          1. If you read this carefully:

            The process has, however, been plagued by practical considerations. Concerns remain over how to determine whether a service member who undergoes a gender transition remains fit for service, and when they would return to their units, for example, or, in certain cases, how those requiring medication would be able to access it in war zones and other austere environments where the military operates.

            The military view on transgendered troops seems to revolve around practical medical considerations, not being mean to people by not letting them use a certain bathroom.

            But your question about why accommodations need to be made, that’s going to be the $64,000 question as the law is hurtling towards making special considerations for transgendered that weren’t or aren’t made for gays. But as certain institutions are either implying or flat out saying that an accommodation must be made specifically for transgendered people, then at some point some metrics for identifying the transgendered are going to become increasingly important.

        2. Right, because when you call useful idiots by name and point out how you’re different from their hegemony, you don’t get to stampede them over your opponents and you leave them free to turn or be turned on yourself.

          Once you’ve convinced Joe the Plumber that the one time he tried on women’s underwear means he is, in small part, transgender and that transgendered people are treated worse than slaves in the pre-war South, then you can proceed to classify him as ‘less transgendered’ and still count on his support.

    2. And some of us who deny even that is an adequate process.

  11. They need a squadron of elite LGBT shock troops – all of them left-handed Jews slathered in lard, mounted on trained attack pigs, accompanied by bacon-wrapped dogs, armed with pork-chop-sandal launchers and flaming-Koran catapults.

    1. My Turkish (and moslem) ancestors screamed in terror and despair when contemplating such a fearsome force.

    2. Great, now I’m hungry.

    3. Such a glorious picture.

      1. Stop that! This has gone all silly.

  12. Fulton’s organization calculates that there are around 13,000 transgender members of the military. A report from UCLA’s Williams Institute puts the number at more than 15,000, including the National Guard and reserves.

    Those are some hugely inflated numbers, maybe by two decimal places. I’d like to see what kind of math went into coming up with those figures. Those are probably closer to the number of people who openly identify as gay and currently serving.

    1. I know. I saw those same numbers somewhere else and couldn’t believe it.

      The more common number is 0.3% for the general population. The size of the military is ~2.1 million (including reserves). That brings us to ~6,000. Even THAT I find difficult to believe. That, or for some reason trans people are 2-3X as likely to go into service than cis.

      1. Maybe the idea is that the military will pay for all the medical operations?

        That would be the way to go if that was the case. Join up, get paid, then demand the military pay for all your operations and treatments.

        1. This is exactly what I suspected will happen.

  13. They echoed Carter’s previous remarks that “anyone who is qualified to serve should be allowed to serve.”

    Anyone who is qualified to serve, or up to 15,000 servicemembers potentially requiring individualized plans to accommodate their personal and non-emergent medical needs.

    Well, which is it?

  14. Slightly OT:

    Africa’s first gay rugby team launches marketing campaign using slurs they hear on the pitch including ‘queen, fairy, pansy and pillow biter’ to tackle homophobia

    Jozi Cats aim to provide gay players with safe haven for enjoying the sport
    Campaign launched to boost numbers and tackle homophobia in rugby
    Used insults they had heard and mocked them in pictures featuring players…..hobia.html

    1. Isn’t rugby itself gay?

      1. Go say that to a crew of male rugby players.

        Women’s rugby, definitely.

        1. The more violently they deny it, the more it shows they know how gay it is.

          1. Be that as it may, I don’t know why someone is picking on rugby when American football is clearly the gayest team sport there is.

      2. The “scrum” certainly is.

        1. I’m not gonna confirm this ever happening, but jamming your thumb up your opponents ass to the 2nd knuckle could cause their scrum to collapse.

  15. It was silly to let women serve in any combat roles. The benefit of allowing women to serve even in non-combat roles is limited. Accommodating transgender individuals in the military is ever more stupid. They should be discharged and the military should be focusing on defending the country.

    1. The benefit of having women serve in non-combat roles is that it frees up the REMFs for combat roles.

      1. This. Most roles are noncombat.

        For some reason, straight white males are the ones most likely to volunteer for combat roles.

  16. [quote]and the military should be focusing on defending the country.[/quote]

    Now that is crazy talk, the US military is for defending every country except the US. Case in point the US could not even put one fighter get above NYC or Washington during 9/11

    1. There were fighter jets above NYC that day. I live 9 miles from Manhattan and I experienced them first hand.

      1. They were dropping chemtrails. (jk yeah they were there, I saw them while walking the Manhattan Bridge home that day)

      2. What I mean is prior to the planes crashing, after the planes crashing it was too late.

        The whole US military is set up for overseas action, they just use the US for training and most units are at a low status while in the US.

        1. Um, isn’t the conspiracy theory that the air force shot down one of the planes?

        2. Well, of course they’re on low status while in the US. An actual military force would need to cross thousands of miles of ocean or arctic waste to present an actual threat, so there’s plenty of time to see them coming. They aren’t really meant to deal with terrorist attacks.

          1. So who is suppose to deal with a plane controlled by terrorists? Does Homeland Security get fighter jets or AA missiles?

            1. I’m pretty sure if a terrorist attack is ongoing, the President can declare a state of emergency and mobilize the armed forces within the US. But such a response is almost certainly going to be too late. So either the President puts the country in a constant state of emergency, resulting in fatigue, mistakes, and abuse, or else we repeal the Posse Comitatus Act, the Civil Aviation Act, and likely a host of other laws, and every flight that’s not approved by the military gets shot down on takeoff.

              1. Just to be clear, the second option there is just as ripe for fatigue, mistakes, and abuse.

            2. A plane will never be “controlled” by terrorists in the US again, the passengers will not allow it. That tactic actually stopped being successful by the afternoon of 9/11. The next attacks will be different, easier targets, like hitting shopping malls in “gun free” zones, security lines at airports, concert halls, etc.

              1. That tactic actually stopped being successful by the afternoon of 9/11

                Afternoon? It stopped being successful by 10 AM that morning:

                10:03:11: United Airlines Flight 93 is crashed by its hijackers and passengers at 583 mph (926 km/h, 272 m/s, or 509 knots), due to fighting in the cockpit 80 miles (129 km) southeast of Pittsburgh in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.[32] Later reports indicate that passengers had learned about the World Trade Center and Pentagon crashes on cell phones and at least three were planning on resisting the hijackers; the resistance was confirmed by Flight 93’s cockpit voice recording, on which the hijackers are heard making their decision to down the plane before the passengers succeed in breaching the cockpit door. The 9/11 Commission believed that Flight 93’s target was either the United States Capitol building or the White House in Washington, D.C.[33]

                Timeline of the attacks

              2. A plane will never be “controlled” by terrorists in the US again, the passengers will not allow it.

                There are still a ton of international heavy air freighters coming into the country every day. It would require a bit more skullduggery than 9/11, but on its face, I don’t see obstacles that would prohibit terrorists from acquiring one or a couple of them from an overseas location. One down side for the bad guys is that the freighters wouldn’t be as fuel-laden as the 9/11 planes were—they’d have to burn the gas to get to the U.S.

                God forbid there ever be a nuclear detonation on US soil, but if there is, I think it’s the most likely delivery mechanism.

    2. Case in point the US could not even put one fighter get above NYC or Washington during 9/11

      I don’t think this is true, first of all, but I hardly see what purpose it would serve. Were they supposed to start shooting down commercial airliners?

      1. Yes.

        If those people are going to die, they might as well already be dead. The total body count would be lower if the military shoots the plane down before it is crashed into a large building full of people.

        1. By the time people realized what was happening, the WTC and Pentagon had already been hit. The fourth target was never reached because the passengers on board put a stop to it. Really not much else for the military to do at that point.

          1. But we spend a trillion dollars a year on defense and no matter the situation the US military is not prepared to actually defend the US.

            Its all set up for overseas operations with most units that are in the US in low status for manpower/money/equipment until they get ready to deploy.

            We might as well shut down the pentagon and give Homeland Security some ships/planes/troops to do the actual defense of the US since the Pentagon thinks that defense of the US is not their job discription.

            1. Defense of the country does not mean omniscient and omnipresent security of every U.S. person, building, and territory. By your argument, the U.S. military should have been disbanded after losing the Philippines. Clearly they were unfit for the task of taking on Japan and winning the war!

              1. omniscient and omnipotent*

            2. We don’t spend a trillion a year on defense and we do have interceptors for major population centers. Look up the combat radius of an f16, calculate how many it woild take to maintain a 24/7 CAP, and then come back and whine about how we’re spending too much. You are not going to have constant air patrols over the whole damn country without spending a hell of a lot more for additional pilots, aircraft, and fuel.

          2. We still can’t read minds. How do you know a plane has been taken over by terrorists? usually not until it departs from its scheduled route. And that’s assuming there’s a national db being checked for cross-country flights, there aren’t lot’s of errors in that db, and someone’s paying attention.

            Of the four planes on 9/11, best case scenario is that we would have been in position to shoot down *one more* plane (ie, being up in the air and ready to go after the first plane hit instead of the second).

            And keep in mind that keeping planes on alert 30 to respond across the country is not going to be cheap. It would involve planes in at least a half dozen locations. Or we’re going to start putting AD setups on the tops of buildings all over the country – something I’m not willing to tolerate yet.

            1. Of the four planes on 9/11, best case scenario is that we would have been in position to shoot down *one more* plane (ie, being up in the air and ready to go after the first plane hit instead of the second).

              As WTF pointed out, that very plane was dealt with by the passengers and ended up crashing without killing anyone on the ground. So the most plausible military response with the best possible outcome would have resulted in… what happened anyway.

        2. I understand that, but it assumes that the Air Force could figure out that it’s going to happen, which planes are involved, and what their targets are going to be, with a high degree of certainty, and all within a fairly short time frame (e.g. 15 minutes between the North Tower getting hit and the South Tower getting hit).

  17. Suppose they gave a kultur war and nobody came

  18. Does anyone want to put forth a guess on when this is going to end? I’m going with not more than another 70 years. I’m not sure on the timelines for the collapse of Greece and Rome.

    1. America is so secure behind two great oceans and friendly borders north and south that it will allow this idiocy to rage for quite some time.

      1. Yeah, but we’re going broke. When the money runs out this shit will be quickly forgotten – and I’m giving that way under 70 years.

    2. When what is going to end? Did Greece and Rome collapse because of trannies in their armys?

      1. Time for some wikipedia edits.

      2. Camille Paglia actually has some interesting commentary on “cultural decadence” like the trans phenomenon leading to the collapse of major civilizations (Rome being one of her examples).

      3. Maybe not because of the trannies… but how about the 32-page tattoo guide for marines?

        The U.S. Marine Corps has once again changed its tattoo policy, issuing new regulations that involve custom-made rulers, run dozens of pages long and contain specific instructions on body art from marines’ heads (always prohibited) to their feet (OK, but within specific rules).

        The policy released last week references six other Marine, Navy and Department of Defense documents, includes one glossary of full-color reference photos and even comes with a template of a “U.S. Marine Corps Tattoo Measuring Tool” which motivated Jarheads can print out at home and use for guidance to make sure their skin art is acceptable to the brass.

        As the other armed services have relaxed tattoo regulations over the past year, so have the Marines. But while the Army’s policy is a bit under two-pages long, and the Navy is content explaining its regulations in about four paragraphs, the Marines need 32 pages?including all glossaries.

        1. Jesus Christ… the whole point of tatts is “look at me and how unique I am!” which is kind of the opposite of the military.

          1. In the old days, the only people with ink were people who had done something hard or stupid (prison, military, gang) and earned it.

            Now, every snowflake gets a tattoo.

            1. Yup. Especially in sports – it seems the more untethered from the real world some of these guys get, the more tatted up they are.

        2. Fucking stupid. In 2001, the USMC tattoo policy was very simple – nothing below the wrist and nothing that’s visible over the neck line of a uniform shirt. Most of the Marines I knew, from my DIs to those I served with, had multiple tattoos. Some of the best I knew had full sleeves.

          1. The Navy used to have a simple policy also – not visible while wearing any of the uniforms and no gang/nazi/drug stuff.

            But these things come and go in cycles. When I came in there were hardly any regs outside of ‘not the face’ to ‘nothing new allowed at all and if you have one already you’re in danger of getting kicked out’ as I was rolling out in 2011. Now they’re back to ‘its ok within these boundaries’.

            1. I neglected to add that bit about gang/Nazi tats. They grilled me about one of mine at MEPS – kind of a stylized celtic cross that looks a bit like an iron cross, so they thought it was a Nazi design.

              And yes, they seem to change constantly. When I’d been in a few years, they put a limit of four total, with those already on active duty grandfathered in. If you were already in and had less than four, you weren’t covered, and if you had 4+ you couldn’t get any more. Then, around when I was getting out, was when they banned sleeves.

              Didn’t the Navy used to allow neck tattoos? I could have sworn that a sailor or two in our school in Pensacola had one.

              1. Tolerated is more accurate. But like I said, when I came in (in 1990) the rules were basically ‘not the head’ – necks were pushing it but ‘not the head’ so as long as they weren’t too blatant (no neck sleeve but some peeking up over the undershirt or a small design on the side) you’d get a pass. Worse thing that’d happen was a quick DRB and then back to work without anymore mention of it.

                But that, like a lot of thing, was already in the process of changing – within a year of my joining we went to a ‘zero tolerance’ policy for drug use for all ranks (when I signed on an E-3 could stay in after a single failed urinalysis, later no-one) and they were cracking down heavily on alcohol use (when I joined the San Diego bases had an 18 drinking age as a harm reduction measure, to keep sailors from popping into TJ and getting blasted but then it was decided that this was not socially appropriate and they were going to change the culture!).

                The Navy of 1995 was very different from the Navy of 1990 and probably would have been unrecognizable to anyone who’d been in in 1985.

          2. A master gunney I worked for had gotten a tattoo as a drunk 18-year old in Subic Bay that consisted of one woman’s leg along the side of his rib cage and one along the inside of his arm. Both ended at his armpit which made it look like the snatch on a gal.

            It was great, but his wife would bitch at him any time he took his shirt off because she was so ashamed of it. Of course, we were always badgering him to show it off.

            1. That’s pretty hilarious.

            2. hah….I loved Philippines stories from the crusty old gunnies and master guns, not in the least because it was hilarious to imagine those guys were ever young. They were all around 40, the age I’ll be before the year is out, but they just seemed so much older than that.

        3. I can see “nothing on your face or hands”. But beyond that, who cares? Does having a tattoo affect your ability to break shit and kill people?

          1. Tatt overkill affects my ability to take someone seriously, but I yell at clouds so what do I know.

      4. This is just another straw on the camel’s back. I’m not saying letting anyone into the armed forces is going to be the downfall of the US. It will be the acrimony caused by constantly submitting to the will of, what many perceive as, a ridiculously small percentage of mentally unfit people. If libertarians can barely swing 1% of the national vote, what does that say about your fellow citizens?

        1. Hey it’d be absolutely awesome if the 1% of Libertarians could force our will on the rest of the population, of course then we wouldn’t be libertarian…

        2. I will bet that if we ever really, truly need the military for national defense, it will straighten itself out pretty quickly.

    3. Never. As technology improves the options for self-modification are only going to increase.

      Its trangender now, in the future its going to be emulation, chimerziation, full-body *non-humanoid* prosthesis, even people completely rebuilding their bodies to be a different species – furries in the flesh or worse, Na’vi.

      1. Oh great, more cries for attention.

      2. If we get to that point, then you could probably also have people rebuilding themselves into enhanced warrior machine hybrids, which would be good for the military.
        Perhaps the problem now is that most of the available self modification options are mostly aesthetic. Once we get to truly functional body mods, it will be a whole different thing.

  19. So, is what’s happening now that we are supposed to see transitioning as something like coming out as gay? Seems to me that’s not the way to look at it. It’s really a major thing that just doesn’t seem very compatible with joining the military, especially if there are hormones or surgery involved. Maybe you should get that shit settled before you decide to make another major, life-changing decision like joining the military. And then you should have to meet the same standards as anyone else.

  20. I came out trans last year. My life hasn’t changed in any material way except I now get to use whichever bathroom I want to.

  21. Defense Secretary Ash Carter

    Really good porn name, for what it’s worth.

  22. I still don’t understand how gays and lesbians let this issue get mixed up with their issues. A person can be a male or a female. They can have attractions to males, females, both or neither. Doesn’t change the fundamental structure of who they are. Males can wear pink, females can have mullets. Some males can’t do a pushup, some females can do 20 dead hang pullups (a very few, but a few).

    But in the case of transitition from one sex to another (for transsexuals) or this non-binary gender fluid bullshit (transgenders) are different stories. Lets say a female transitions to a male. Obviously, unless there was a major hormone mixup in their body already, they will need testosterone therapy. That means injections every week or two, or gels or creams DAILY. And since that person has transitioned already, they want to be treated as male. Without the testosterone therapy, in all likelihood, her muscle mass will shrink, and her performance in physical tasks will go down. If that person is on a roller coaster ride because of missing treatments, their attitude and mood could disqualify them alone. People who have bad vision can’t be pilots. People who need daily insulin and have to regulate their blood sugar very carefully shouldn’t be on the front lines. It may not be fair, but fairness isn’t what the military needs.

    1. I still don’t understand how gays and lesbians let this issue get mixed up with their issues.

      Remember when kooks were saying the mass of the Gay Rights Movement had an agenda? Neither do I.

      All-inclusive agenda-less social movements have always made perfectly cromulent sense.

  23. All these comments and nothing along the lines of “Chelsea Manning is what happens when you let trans people serve!”? I’m disappointed.

  24. The best thing that’s happened for Trump’s campaign are the riots/assaults at his rallies. The next best thing will be the armed forces celebrating transsexuality. If I were a cynic, I’d think the military brass were trying to sabotage Hillary’s campaign.

  25. Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said there should be some sort of announcement on new policies “soon.”

    Good job, Pete.

      1. “Everybody load up, we’re on the move in 10 minutes!”

        *2 hours later*

        “Get the fuck back into the trucks, we’re on the move in 15 minutes!”

        1. Or the formations that get 15 minutes earlier at every level. CO tells the sergeant major 1800, the sergeant major tells the SNCOIC 1745, the SNCIOIC tells the shop chiefs 1730, and the shop chief tells us 1715.

          And, of course, we’re expected to be there fifteen prior, so we show up to the formation at 1700 and stand around with our thumbs up our asses for an hour.

  26. Locals up in arms over new fetish store in Illinois town

    However, officials said they had no legal basis to bar the business, Tykables, which includes features such as a seven-foot crib, an over-sized high chair and adult-sized playpen. “Things for people to come and play, take pictures with. Not everybody has access to a nursery,” the owner says in a YouTube video.

    Can’t wait to see how the military accommodates that stuff.

    1. Same way the accommodate fetish stuff today – not on duty.

  27. I’m sure this is shaping up to be a highly productive discussion…

  28. When will we move beyond cis and trans awareness and be truly inclusive? Nido, closo, and arachno people are being horribly discriminated against.

    1. I don’t want to.

    2. Was that joke too borane?

  29. Will the male-to-females also get the benefit of the higher body fat standard for females? Would have made it a lot easier for me to make tape way back when.

    1. 15:00 minute 1.5 mile run to pass – at 19. I didn’t get that much time until I hit 35.

  30. 31 minutes to complete the 3 miles at age 19 for a chick, 28 for a male. It isn’t until age 46 (an age very few will remain in the corps until) that the minimum goes higher than 30 minutes.

  31. So, are they expecting that male soldiers should be permitted to wear female uniforms (which I think the only difference is the dress uniform)? Meet lower female physical requirements? Perhaps the military is looking at using this as an opportunity to get rid of the lower female physical standards, and go back to having a single standard?

    What if a soldier who identifies as female fathers a child? Will the soldier get maternity leave?

    What will be acceptable “proof” that a soldier is transgender?

    So many issues. So much stupid. No wonder the wheels of bureaucracy are grinding slowly.

  32. Isn’t the military in a force drawdown now, and has been ever since we (mostly) left Iraq? If so, why are we moving heaven and earth to draw and accommodate what is some micro-fraction of one percent of the population?

  33. Wait…so you’re saying we can put them in front of bullets?

    *Puts down pitchfork and turns around to the mob*

    It’s cool everyone! They’re going to Iraq!

  34. the MEN in the showers willl still havo no problem determining who is what. And since sexual assaults within the military now aor by a large majority perpetreted by sodomites that have been thus given free access to “targets of choice”, one could reasonably assume the confused will follow suit as well.

    I am convinced, however, that it will only be a matter of a very short time before the forst female masquerading as male and using “facilities” designated for her bogus gender will be considered by her unit members as her actual, as perceived visually by her outward appearance as what she always has been….. and the “fun” will begin.

    And the surest way to keep decent women OUT of the military would be to allow males, so equipped, to decide they are “feeling feminine” and demanding access to the facilities designated for women.

    I predict far more trouble with this insanity that we’ve ever seen before from any one “group”.

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