The Associated Press has learned that Pentagon leaders are finalizing plans aimed at lifting the ban on transgender individuals serving in the military.
Senior U.S. officials say an announcement is expected this week. They say the military would have six months to determine the impact and work out details, with the presumption that they would end one of the last gender- or sexuality-based barriers to military service.
Is there a single, serious argument that this change will increase the combat effectiveness of the U.S. military? I do know that it will be a boon to the JAG Corps and to the various EO officers as they build entirely new slide decks designed to force largely mystified young soldiers to embrace diversity — and punish them with all manner of discipline if they don’t. The challenges surrounding the physical fitness standards alone makes one’s head hurt. If a woman becomes a “man,” does she have to pass the higher, male physical fitness standards or can she elect to be called “sir” but still do fewer pushups and run slower? If a man becomes a “woman,” does his infantry platoon have to stand aside as he slides down to lower fitness standards? Would an officer be subject to military discipline for “mis-gendering” a man whose had plastic surgery?
The profession of arms is an ancient and resilient, and our military culture can absorb multiple cultural blows and still maintain a high degree of professional excellence, but we can’t keep making decisions dictated by ideology over military necessity and believe there will be no meaningful battlefield consequence. With each Obama administration move, from the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, to the expansion of women’s roles in the combat arms, and now to genderqueer troops, the term “social justice warrior” does indeed mean something new every day.