Trans

Military Announces Its Own Transition Plan to Allow Transgender Troops

Yes they can now serve openly, but the regulations will be complicated.

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troops
Department of Defense/Sipa USA/Newscom

As leaked earlier in the week, today Defense Secretary Ash Carter formally announced that the United States military is ending its blanket ban on transgender people serving in the forces.

As of today, transgender troops will no longer be discharged from the military or denied reenlistment "solely for being transgender individuals." That use of "solely" as a modifier there is important because it's an acknowledgement of both the pro and con arguments: There's nothing inherent about being transgender that should disqualify someone for military service; but the totality of that person's experience and their ability to adjust to both what's going on within them and the military's need for conformity requires analysis.

There are a whole bunch of "next steps" in the Department of Defense's fact sheet about this transition. In three months, military handbooks will be updated to acknowledge transgender troops, medical "guidance" on transition care will be hammered out, and service members will be able to officially change their gender on their personnel records. More steps deal with the complexities of gender transitions will be rolled out over the next year.

Beyond that, it's important to note that military does not appear to be buying into any sort of "gender is just a construct" or "gender fluidity" dynamic. Transgender troops will be expected to identify as male or female, just like everybody else. There's nothing to suggest that there will be new pronouns, nobody will be able to declare themselves "non-binary," and nobody will be able to demand to be called "they." A transgender person will be expected to live and conform with the appearance and guidelines of the gender they've become. This doesn't necessarily mandate reassignment surgery but will require living as the chosen sex permanently.

USA Today notes that as part of the research before implementing these changes, the military did evaluate the likely impact on readiness as well as costs to the military to pay for medical treatment, based calculations of the number of likely transgender troops:

There are between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender troops in the active-duty force of 1.3 million, according to Agnes Schaefer, the lead author of a RAND Corp. study commissioned by the Pentagon on the issue. Of those troops, RAND estimates that between 30 and 140 would seek hormone treatment, and 25 to 130 would seek surgery. The estimated annual price tag: $2.4 million to $8.4 million, per year.

The effect on readiness to fight, or deploy, is anticipated to be small, Schaefer said. Transgender troops would be unavailable to deploy between 8 and 43 man years annually, a measure of military readiness. The military overall has 1.2 million man years. The Army has about 5,300 non-deployable man years.

"The bottom line is that we think it will be minimal," Schaefer said of the effect on military readiness of lifting the ban.

For some context, America's annual defense budget is around $600 billion.

A source gave Dominic Holden at BuzzFeed some indications of what some of these new policies might entail for transgender citizens who want to join the military. Much of the policy developments happening right now focus on transgender people already serving. Of note, if his info is accurate, an openly transgender person who wants to join the military may be expected to complete the transition before joining. There's little foundation to suggest that transgender people will go running to join the military in order to get free treatment or that such behavior would be permitted.

On the other hand, if they did, is that any different than people who join the military for any other economic reason? How is that different from joining the military to pay for college? As long as they're still expected to conform to military policy and perform up to the same standards as their nontransgender peers, there really shouldn't be a problem. And if it turns out a transgender military member is emotionally or mentally unfit for service in other ways, that's still no different from other men and women who end up washing out for being unable to adapt or conform.

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  1. I wonder if this will cause recruitment problems?

  2. (Grabs Popcorn)

  3. There’s nothing to suggest that there will be no new pronouns…

    DOUBLE NEGATIVE! I knew it! There will be new pronouns troops will have to learn. R. Lee Ermey is rolling over in his grave.

      1. Now you’ve made me look THE FOOL!

  4. “openly transgender person who wants to join the military may be expected to complete the transition before joining”

    Makes sense. You probably should wait until your body finishes changing before doing a career that requires you to do lots of physical activity.

  5. In three months, military handbooks will be updated to acknowledge transgender troops…

    I double knew it! This whole thing has been orchestrated by Big Printer.

  6. “There’s nothing to suggest that there will be no new pronouns” should be more like “There’s nothing to suggest that there will be new pronouns,” leaving out the “no”.

  7. “As long as they’re still expected to conform to military policy and perform up to the same standards as their nontransgender peers, there really shouldn’t be a problem.” Except transitioning is a years long process, during which you would absolutely be unable to perform your duties.

    1. So you skipped the part where they talked about how many folks they anticipated to seek medical transitions? And even then, surgery might put you out for a few weeks, but nothing else would really mean you couldn’t work.

      1. And who’s paying for the surgery?

        1. The infrastructure bank.

      2. Maternity leave is a right. It only puts you out for a few weeks.

        1. Nondeployable I’m the army for 15 months.

  8. Man, Klinger is ganna be pissed.

  9. So which one is their rifle and which one is their gun?

    1. They keep their rifle in the gun closet, and their gun in a glass jar. Duh.

  10. How is that different from joining the military to pay for college?

    Seriously? WTHF Shackford?

    1. Socially liberal. Fiscally convenient.

  11. Robby is in charge of the links again. Apparently he wasn’t mocked enough after the 5/17 fiasco.

    1. I missed them.

  12. We cannot have a transgender gap!

    Thigh gap, however…

  13. Hmmm. Another government agency trying to register the transgenders in some sort of database…

  14. Cool, so a group that apparently commits suicide at a higher than normal rate will now be issued firearms and put into extremely stressful circumstances.

    I see no downsides.

  15. Cool, so a group that apparently commits suicide at a higher than normal rate will now be issued firearms and put into extremely stressful circumstances.

    I see no downsides.

    1. The squirrels agree, apparently.

  16. There are between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender troops in the active-duty force of 1.3 million, according to Agnes Schaefer…

    At this time there are zero troops or other humans who have changed gender. There are some amphibious creatures who do so and a very small number of humans with mixed DNA at birth, but we’re way off into oddities here.

    1. A range that wide is code for “we have no fucking idea”.

  17. I’m going to do transgendered people the utmost respect by not giving a damned and ignoring it.

    I’m roasting a turkey today. Carved off the breasts*, seasoned with a wet baste of bacon grease, smoked paprika and garlic. Gravy, colcannon, a spinach-and-strawberry salad. Somethingsomething else, haven’t decided what yet.

    *Roasted white meat is a waste. I’ll use it another day.

    Watcha eating?

    1. I’m going to do transgendered people the utmost respect by not giving a damned and ignoring it.

      The transgendered people I don’t generally/specifically have a problem with. The motherfucking useful fucking idiots who spout shit like ‘getting a college education is the moral and/or economic equivalent of getting your gender switched’ are the ones who really piss me off. Especially the ones knowingly writing as such for Reason.

    2. So, did you just turn Jenny into Tom by that surgery?

    3. Sounds like a pretty awesome meal.

  18. RAND estimates that between 30 and 140 would seek hormone treatment, and 25 to 130 would seek surgery. The estimated annual price tag: $2.4 million to $8.4 million, per year.

    Which expenditure will do absolutely nothing, best case scenario, to improve the ability of the military to do its job.

    1. Much of the military’s job since January 2009 has been social engineering, Ensuring full military participation in the national freak show is a major part of the social engineering.

    2. Putting a few women on steroids would make some difference

  19. Beyond that, it’s important to note that military does not appear to be buying into any sort of “gender is just a construct” or “gender fluidity” dynamic. Transgender troops will be expected to identify as male or female, just like everybody else. There’s nothing to suggest that there will be new pronouns, nobody will be able to declare themselves “non-binary,” and nobody will be able to demand to be called “they.” A transgender person will be expected to live and conform with the appearance and guidelines of the gender they’ve become. This doesn’t necessarily mandate reassignment surgery but will require living as the chosen sex permanently.

    Of course they’re not. They’re going to have a much, much more narrow view of ‘gender’ than does the Twittersphere.

    1. I feel I should add that from what I read of the Military’s policy, once this hard declaration is made, you’re not “transgender” or recognized as such. You’re now the sex you declared at paperwork time. You identify as male? *stamp slamming down on paperwork*

      You’re male. You WILL use the men’s bathroom, you WILL use the men’s showers, and no fucking takebacks.

      1. Why can’t someone be a trans-trans? They could have layers of gender within gender within gender that they have to peel away over a lifetime in order to uncover their true identity. Who are we to judge?

        1. Don’t give them any ideas.

  20. As long as they’re still expected to conform to military policy and perform up to the same standards as their nontransgender peers, there really shouldn’t be a problem. And if it turns out a transgender military member is emotionally or mentally unfit for service in other ways, that’s still no different from other men and women who end up washing out for being unable to adapt or conform.

    This is absolutely true. However, it could be argued that it creates an environment which makes it easier to claim “discrimination” if you’re booted for under-performing in your new social construct. But that’s an unknowable.

    1. But that’s an unknowable infallibly predictable from all previous experience with grievance groups.

      FTFY

  21. “There’s nothing inherent about being transgender that should disqualify someone for military service;”

    Indeed , the Constitution does not direct the Secretary of War to display either reasonable taste or a a decent respect for the opinion of mankind.

  22. “There’s nothing inherent about being transgender that should disqualify someone for military service;”

    I dunno, being crazy enough to think you can overrule biological facts by wishing them away would make me leery of putting trannies in military roles.

  23. “…. but the regulations will be complicated”

    I think that could probably be appended to everything in the news.

    Re: TransForce5 – my estwhile dream of an all Transgender Special Ops Unit….

    i just think we live in a fucked up world when you get front page headlines about the fact that “a few hundred minority-people” can now sort-of-kind-of take jobs working in the armed forces, and that’s like a wunderbar thing which should give everyone a warm-fuzzy…. ?

    …when at the same time, the actual *stuff those armed forces are doing* hardly even merits a mention in the daily list of things to “give a shit about”.

    its like = congratulations! the next time anyone will care about you is when you get killed in some politically awkward circumstances.

  24. There are between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender troops in the active-duty force of 1.3 million, according to Agnes Schaefer, the lead author of a RAND Corp. study commissioned by the Pentagon on the issue. Of those troops, RAND estimates that between 30 and 140 would seek hormone treatment, and 25 to 130 would seek surgery. The estimated annual price tag: $2.4 million to $8.4 million, per year.

    Is this the same RAND that was so accurate at estimating obamacare enrollments?

    1. There are between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender troops in the active-duty force of 1.3 million

      Looking at the report itself, this barely rises to the level of SWAG

      “”To date, there have been no systematic studies of the number of transgender individuals in the U.S. general population or in the U.S. military. Current studies rely on clinical samples of health care service utilizers, nonrepresentative samples assembled in ways that are difficult to replicate, and self-reported survey data from a small number of states… The transgender prevalence in the U.S. general population is thought to be significantly less than 1 percent (Gates, 2011, p. 6; APA, 2013, p. 454). However, there have been no rigorous epidemiological studies in the general U.S. population that confirm this estimate. Our subsequent estimates must be qualified, therefore, as some-what speculative””

      they could easily have conducted a few sample-surveys at low cost. Its the @#*(&$ military. And its easier & cheaper to survey a specific population (the military) than a general one. The fact that they don’t even try is (in my number-monkey opinion) a political decision. If they wanted better data, they’d get it. IMO they want to keep it vague. in the end its still just “between 0.1-0.5%”

  25. Paging Corporal Klinger. please pick up the pink courtesy phone.

    1. No, Klinger wore dresses to get OUT of the Army.

  26. On the other hand, if they did, is that any different than people who join the military for any other economic reason? How is that different from joining the military to pay for college?

    College graduates don’t collectively have a ~40% “suicide attempt” rate?

    1. COLLIGE BOY NEED 110% SUICIDE FINUSH

  27. Please stop replying to Hahn. The derp is getting out of hand.

    1. Or Hihn. Either/or.

  28. Long time lurker … I registered just to express my disgust at this Benny Hinn character. He’s even more insufferable than y*n*o*T. Lefty-style argumentation including sarcastic use of (gasp) and (shudder). Lefty tactic of confusing individual rights with “equality.”

    Transexuals’ psychological problems are caused by society, and not by their own war against biological reality? Check.

    Joining the military is a fundamental human right, and actual military concerns like mental health and bodily integrity should be dismissed as bigotry? Check.

    A sex-change operation is just like any other life-saving medical treatment, and should be provided free by the government? Check.

    Yeah, he’s a founding father of libertarianism and he’s here to school us. My ass. He’s the kind of leftist wacko who gave libertarianism a bad name back in the “big tent” era.

      1. I don’t know. I’ve been a longtime lurker too. ‘Michael Hihn’ is usually pretty sensible on a lot of issues. It’s just that apparently on this specific topic, he’ll brook no backsass. And, maybe he just had a really bad day yesterday. Or maybe he started drinking by 8 pm.

  29. If a 90 pound woman identifies as a man, can she (or he) join the marines and get involved in field action?

    If you’re pushing buttons somewhere or flying drones or helicopters, no one would care. But in the battlefield the practical / biological difference between men and women will be stark. The feminists can scream and moan all they want, but men will generally LAST longer in heat of battle compared to women. physically and mentally. Joan of Arc did not actually fight in any battles.

    A gay soldier will be surrounded by straights who won’t feel anything for him. A transgender man still have boobs and shaped like a woman. Who knows how lonely soldiers in desperate times might react.

    What happens if a an average NBA center plays for the WNBA? If you’re biologically a woman and you want to be part of a male unit, reality mandates you defer certain roles to men in certain situations.

  30. “equal rights” instead of individual rights
    “rapists in uniform”
    “hate-mongers”
    “celebrates feeding humans into woodchippers”

    If we take advice from SJW’s and drop all the icky anti-government stuff, maybe they’ll like us.

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