At the junction
I ask the same old question: Are you a soldier first and transgender second, or a soldier second and transgender first? Frankly, if you cannot decide what sex you are (hint: look in your underwear) I find it hard to believe you could grasp the basic arts of soldiering.
If you are a soldier, you’d better be a soldier first. Anything less could get you killed. But I’ve never worn the uniform, and I also have never doubted my gender, so I don’t know what’s involved.From what I’ve read subsequent to the time I posted this piece, apparently the underlying issue is the cost of gender reassignment being on the government’s dime, with the obvious point that the government’s dime is our dime. Should we spending tax dollars for gender reassignment? Seems dubious. If someone who was already transgender asked to enlist and was able to meet the established criteria, it’s a different question.
It comes down to the dollars, ultimately. If joining the military entitles you to free or reduced cost reassignment surgery and therapy, you set up an incentive for transgender first/soldier second enlistment. Is this incentive more burdensome or self-serving than using the money for college enlistment incentive? I guess we'll find out. One difference, though, is that someone who enlists for the tuition assistance is capable of meeting the physical fitness requirements for his or her sex. Someone transitioning from male to female and receiving testosterone suppression drugs likely will not, which affects a unit's fighting fitness and not just the individual's.
Add to that the number of suicides among the T's and I don't think you can assume "readiness" required to keep the rest of the unit alive. We have enough trouble with PTSD without adding POTSD to it.
Definitely deserves a really good set of FMEAs dealing with physical strength, difficulties with the supply chain (they often use hormones to maintain their new appearance--try doing Walmart's supply chain in a war theater), mental health, drug use, suicide, unit cohesion, and the like. Really a lot of the same FMEAs that appear to have been skipped, or appear to have been conducted with a finger on the scales, regarding women in the infantry and such. But no biggie. It's not like screwing this up will send young people home in body bags or something. Except it is.
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