Transgender Troops May Be Cleared to Serve Openly Starting This Week

Policies awaited for months expected in days.


Military LGBT event
Michael Reynolds/EPA/Newscom

LGBT Pride month (June) ends in just a couple of days, but it's the beginning of July that may be important for transgender people who are currently in the military or want to serve.

Reports have it that later this week, Pentagon officials will formally announce that transgender people may serve openly in the military, ending the longstanding policy of ejecting them when they "come out."

This transition has been in the works for some time. Officials announced a year ago they planned to lift the ban on transgender troops serving openly in the military. The changes in policy come on the heels of the successful integration of gays and lesbians openly serving following the elimination of "Don't ask, don't tell" regulations.

Earlier in June, transgender activists criticized the military for dragging their feet. Policy changes were supposed to have been announced in May, but the month came and went with no news. Earlier in June, officials said there would be more information soon. Now sources say they're hammering out the final details of a policy that will be released later this week. From USA Today:

Several issues relating to repeal of the ban have proven to be contentious, according to officials familiar with the review but not authorized to speak publicly about it. One sticking point has been how long transgender service members would have to serve before being eligible for medical treatment to transition to the other gender.

The Pentagon commissioned a RAND Corp. report on transgender troops but has not released it. It estimated that there are fewer than 2,500 transgender service members, 65 of whom would seek medical treatment each year, according to The New York Times.

The military disqualifies transgender troops for medical reasons. The Pentagon has not tracked the number of troops dismissed under the policy.

Other counts put the number of transgender troops much higher, up to 13,000. But just because a person identifies as transgender no longer necessarily means they actually want medical treatment to fully complete a transition. Medical costs might be less of an issue as trying to formulate a consistently applicable policy that allows each transgender person to be accommodated as much as possible without creating an undue burden on the military to do its own job.

NEXT: Supreme Court Rules on Abortion, Resignations over Brexit Vote, Clinton and Warren Team Up: P.M. Links

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. But which latrine will they use?

    1. The one the government agrees matches your identity.

    2. More importantly if someone is unable to figure out what sex they are should they really be handing weapons, explosives or heavy equipment /

      1. They know what sex they are. They also know what gender they are. The ‘problem’ is that the two don’t match.

  2. Will people be required to pass their fitness tests based on their birth gender or their gender identity?

    1. Unintended but totally foreseeable consequences, combined with a pinch of ‘the more things change…’ and a healthy dose of irony dictates that women who can perform at a sufficient physical or operational level will be regarded as equals granted titles regardless of gender and men who cannot will be address by girls’ names.

    2. In this case, probably “birth” until a certain number of years since hormone therapy began has passed, then the new.

  3. OT: Speaking of pending announcements, my pot-growing buds are going crazy over rumors the government will reclassify marijuana as Schedule II August 1, and wondering what effect it will have on their business, especially the state-legal ones. The most optimistic seem to be deluded into thinking this will make all pot farms legal everywhere. I’ve tried to calm them down: governments regulate all sorts of prescription drugs and ordinary chemicals, so it’s not like they depend on the feds classification as Schedule I to legalize their anti-pot laws.

    My best guess is that the feds would be less likely to bust pot farms just for fun, that punishments will automatically track the rescheduling and go down, and states may in turn decrease pot punishments, but over years, not days or even months.

    Any ideas?

    1. Can’t be CII. No clinical trials or FDA approved uses yet.

      All they can do is unschedule it.

      If they do try to reschedule it as an approved medicine in the future, it will be by chemical name and not generically as the marijuana plant.

  4. Hey its not like the military doesn’t have other things to spend their money on. And if joining the military becomes a free way to get sex change surgery, something tells me the number of trannies joining will increase a bit.

    All that matters is that people feel good. If the rule gets people killed well that is just the way it goes.

    1. John, I guess it’s time I admit that I’m a “right-libertarian”, since I’m starting to hate this constant demand by the LGBTWTF people that everyone pander to them.

      1. I’ll come out of the closet as a right-libertarian, too.

        So to speak, heh.

      2. I’m just right-libertarian curious at this point.

      3. Can’t we all just agree that euthanizing the progs is a good thing for all of us?

      4. Welcome to the party, pal.

    2. Are you under the impression that a soldier fired for being trans isn’t replaced? ’cause that’s the only way this is something the gov spends money on, rather then saves money on.

      Especially since there’s been no mention or indication that sex-change therapy will suddenly be covered (hint: it’s currently not).

      1. The quote in the story definitely implies that “medical treatment to transition to the other gender” would be offered.

        They say “medical treatment” as if a penis or a vagina are tumors to be removed.

        1. Ah, I did miss that part. Seems that when/if is one of the many “up in the air” bits though. Seeing as last time I heard the VA didn’t cover transition service either, I kind of doubt they’ll be generous in this regards.

          That said, quick google searches puts the cost of getting a soldier to boot camp at around $20,000 ten years ago, and that boot-camp itself can cost close to $100,000. So it seems that the army can spend quite a bit on trans-surgery before they cross the “not economically feasible” line.

          1. This is some sick fucking shit. Weaken our military to satisfy some twisted SJW’s amd accommodate the delusions of these afflicted individuals suffering from severe body dystrophic disorder.

            1. That’s the idea. Better to spend the money on genital doctors than giving it to evil corporations selling guns and ammo.

      2. It’s not like we have hundreds of wounded people who need treatment or anything.

    3. They talk about the need to nail down how long you’d have to serve before *transition* is covered by mil-med (if it ever is at all). But ‘transition’ does not mean it has to go to completion.

      It is a complicated issue – pregnancy (which affects military readiness significantly but is not only allowed, its encouraged through financial and other incentives) requires light duties after a certain period, even removal of the servicemember from certain types of units for the duration of the pregnancy (which can incur PCS costs), and comes with a huge dead time post-pregnancy in baby-leave for mothers *and* fathers. Should we disallow this elective procedure in the name of military efficiency?

      And its not a simplistic analysis – some things reduce efficiency in some areas while increasing them in others. It’d be more efficient to forbid marriages and pregnancy and barrack everyone on base while increasing the work day to 15 hours to fit in more maintenance and training. But that would reduce the number of people available, reducing the *quality* of the people you have serving, and reducing efficiency there.

      And, ultimately, setting aside the ‘are we going to pay for ‘transition’, what other reason is there to bar these people from serving?

      1. Yes we should have less women because of that. You forgot while being often undeployable, meeting lower standards, and heaping up lifetime benefits for their extremely high medical injury rate women also collect an equal pay to someone that could be hired in their place. In short the enormous disaster of integrating women across the army does not justify taking on another welfare case just as or more stupid.

  5. And the great thing is that any enemy that takes one of these folks prisoner will be enlightened and treat them with the respect they deserve.

  6. I still don’t know what the fuck “transgender” means in many of the contexts I find it.

    It seems to span the distance between drag queens to intersex people to people who just “identify” with the other gender.

    During basic training, are men who dress like women going to be in the men’s or women’s barracks? What kind of dress uniform are they going to wear? Are they going to act all entitled and ready to take offense at the slightest thing instead of doing the job of being a soldier? I was in the military, and I can’t see how this isn’t going to be a clusterfuck driven by political correctness.

    This never-ending bullshit of people demanding that everyone else accept their delusions and depravities, regardless of the situation, is pissing me off.

    1. You will participate. It’s not a request.

      1. Xir! Yes, Xir!

        1. I can’t wait for another 300 based movie with Emperor Xirxes.

        2. Seriously, funny to *finally* find an instance where the whole genderless title/pronoun bullshit is within the realm of being remotely sensible/intelligible.

          1. Or, they could do the most sensible thing and just use “sir” for everything. In Star Trek, “sir” is used to address any officer of higher rank. It is therefore the correct solution.

            1. Yeah, wasn’t argue against that in any way shape or form. Certainly the most intelligent and sensible way to go. That or, clearly, the literal genderless rank/title Pvt./Sgt./Lt./etc./etc.

              My point was that, in juxtaposition to the blatantly political “refer to me in the approrpiate 3rd person gender” pronoun B.S., we have a genuine case where the title kinda-sorta denoting sex/gender (in)accurately.

    2. Yep. That is why there are multiple Ts in the LBGTQT……. etc. Transsexual is a person who has or is going to transition from one sex to the other (to the extent that surgery and hormone therapy really changes a person’s sex). Transgender can be anyone who doesn’t fit the binary model of human gender (as if there is any other mammal that ISN’T binary in gender).

      I don’t have a problem with boys who like to play with teasets, or girls who like trucks. I don’t have a problem with guys who like to fuck guys, girls who like to fuck girls, threesomes, foursomes, orgies, swinger parties, glory holes and whatever other kink that consenting adults want to play with.

      I DO have a problem with saying that in spite of penis, testicles, going bald, hairy chest etc, that if I “feel” like a woman today, my feelings should be honored.

      1. I agree with you completely. BTW, I prefer LGBTWTF

    3. I remember when it was the right that was trying to pull this shit — banning various porny mags, use of brothels, pushing a whole slew of cultural/religious nonsense and the like. It’d be nice if we prioritized producing good killers over good Christians or good cross-dressers, but if we’re stuck choosing between the Christians and the cross-dressers, there’s a hell of a lot more of the former in the military than the latter.

    4. ” are men who dress like women going to be in the men’s or women’s barracks? What kind of dress uniform are they going to wear? Are they going to act all entitled and ready to take offense at the slightest thing instead of doing the job of being a soldier?”
      They covered all of this on MASH 30 years ago. Don’t you watch TV?

      1. Man I remember MASH fondly. Yeah, they solved it because Klinger wasn’t a petulant entitled whiny bitch. Deep down in his soul I mean. Where are all the books written about the depths of Klinger’s soul???

    5. I identify as billionaire Tony Stark. Now what is Oba

      1. …….is Obama going to do about THAT?

    6. This never-ending bullshit of people demanding that everyone else accept their delusions and depravities, regardless of the situation, is pissing me off.

      O’Brien, 1984:

      Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party. That is the fact that you have got to relearn, Winston. It needs an act of self-destruction, an effort of the will. You must humble yourself before you can become sane.

  7. “…formulate a consistently applicable policy that allows each transgender person to be accommodated as much as possible without creating an undue burden on the military to do its own job.”

    Since when is the military involved with “accomodating” anybody? Why should it be?

    By Odin’s eye we really have gone off the rails. Do “transgenders” get to decide which standards, male or female, they pass the PFT on? What about uniform requirements? And while we are at it, I thought that transgender was different than transsexual. Transgender implies gender fluidity, not simply a “woman born in a man’s body”. I feel like a gender queer today, tomorrow I will be a bisexual hermaphrodite, and wednesday a bull dyke.

    Just for clarity, I am not only a libertarian, but I am a libertine. As long as it is consensual, fuck whoever you want, however you want. But this is way beyond that. And the military shouldn’t care what you “believe about yourself”. You have a penis? XY Chromosomes? For their purposes, you are a MALE. This really isn’t difficult. Is it fair? I don’t know but since when does the military have to be fair? You need 20/20 vision and you can’t be too tall or too heavy to be a pilot. Is that fair? You have to be able to perform at a certain level on physical fitness tests. Is that fair? Even though women are getting to serve in front line units, if one of them gets pregnant, they go nowhere near combat. Is that fair?

    1. I’m curious what benefit you perceive from the current policy.

      For clarity, the current policy is that if you come out as trans, you’re ejected from the force. There is clear harm to this, both to the soldier and to the force, as the soldier is out of a job and the force needs to train someone new to replace the ousted soldier.

      What’s changing this policy going to impact? For all the drama you put on the questions, presumably the forces have been able to come up with a clear answer (that may or may not be “fair”) and that will be part of the announcement. Your confusion on what transgender means is also pretty irrelevant.

      But please, feel free to educate us on what the “purposes” it matters whether someone is male or not that can’t be trivially solved.

      1. Physical fitness standards are based on biological sex and age, and there is a significant gap between the performance standards of men and the performance standards of women.

        Male-to-female trannies are judge on the female standards, they are likely going to blow the test out of the water. That is not fair to the non-tranny women taking the test.

        So, either we let that situation ride, or we have to come up a new way of defining physical fitness standards that is not based on biological sex.

        1. “So, either we let that situation ride, or we have to come up a new way of defining physical fitness standards that is not based on biological sex.”

          It always boggled my mind that the military has relaxed physical standards for women, anyway. How can they insist that women are equal in every way, but then turn around and lower the bar for them? If the genders are truly equal, why not just have the same standard? (and I’m not talking about lowering all of the standards to the female level)

          1. The Navy has justified it by saying these are ‘health’ standards – as in, they are judging your health – so an 18 year old woman who can run a mile and a half at the same pace as a 40 year old man is *appropriately healthy* for her age and sex.

            To meet the same level of ‘health’, and 18 year old man must be able to run that distance much faster.

            Its also how they justify the age categories – an 18 year old man has to be able to do a lot more physical activity than a 35 year old man, *even though they may be the same rank and have the exact same job!’

          2. It’s simply an acceptance of reality. When I joined in the 80’s, they didn’t try to pretend women were physically equal to men. Recognizing this, they kept women well clear of combat roles. On the other hand, women in admin, medical, supply, etc… were expected to do their jobs as well men.

            We had a few women in my training company at Radio School. It was kind of a shock to see how much less they could do physically.

        2. Gender specific fitness tests are not fair to anyone. Single standard for all sexes and all ages.

  8. Cool! Now more of my tax dollars can be wasted by the military and every poor pre-op tranny will be flocking to the military and Uncle Sam to help them transition. I can’t wait to see what new MOS the Pentagon comes up with for this new and exciting abuse of the broken, bloated system.

    1. Why should one remove a trannies penis when the afflicted organ is the head ?

  9. Earlier today I decided to watch TV. After ten minutes of scrolling through the channels I noticed that The Big Lebowski was playing. I watched that.

    Every goddamned ad break had an ad for a reality show about trannies. Goddammit.

    1. Or transsexuals or trans-gendered Americans if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.

  10. Do other forms of mental illness disqualify people from serving in the military?

    1. Right, if you hear voices that no one else hears, but you clearly identify them in your own head, then how could they possibly discriminate against you?

    2. Some do, some don’t. Same with physical illnesses.

    3. Fucking ADD can be disqualifying. So can bee and similar allergies.

  11. RE: Transgender Troops May Be Cleared to Serve Openly Starting This Week
    Policies awaited for months expected in days.

    Hmmm…I wonder if Trump the Grump or Heil Hitlerary will keep or eliminate this policy.
    On a related note, I find it fascinating that people who never enlisted in our armed forces are getting regularly.
    Perhaps that is the reason for the VA and all their problems.
    Nah, that can’t be it.
    Anyone who wasn’t in services know what its like to eat a bucket of shit a day.
    My bad.

  12. …on the heels of the successful integration of gays and lesbians openly serving….

    Call me cynical, but [citation needed]….

    1. I can confirm that the Army seems the same. There has been no gaypocalype, no untoward displays of gayfection, and no private has refused to obey his NCO because the NCO is a homo. Also, no gay Soldiers have refused to salute me, even though I supposedly represent the Straight White Hate.

      No sodomy by the flagpole, no gays getting beat up in basic. I think the Army will survive gay people.

      Now trannies, on the other hand…

      1. Considering that the military has over two centuries’ of experience dealing with stupid orders from above, adapting to the nonsense and moving on, I don’t think “the Army will survive it” is a very good argument for any given change.

  13. This could serve as some great psychological warfare against ISIS.

  14. So what, exactly, does transgendered mean? Is it merely that you think you are a different sex than you are or do you actually have to go through the process of reassignment?

    1. process of reassignment

      Orwell would be proud.

      Reality is determined by “assignment”.

  15. This deliberate program to participate in the addled fantasies of a bunch of mentally ill people who are expected, in many cases, to operate under stress, while armed, couldn’t possibly have any unforeseen consequences….

  16. Fantastic work-from-home opportunity for everyone… Work for three to eightt hrs a day and start getting paid in the range of 6,000-17,000 dollars a month… Weekly payments…67o

    Find out more HERE—->

  17. Everyone thought Klinger was a kook; he was just ahead of his time!

    1. Alright, let me clear this up as it’s bugging me: no one thought Klinger was a kook, and that’s why Klinger’s plan got foiled. He cross dressed so that he’d get discharged and sent home away from the war.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.