Should Transgender Individuals Be Allowed to Serve in the US Military?

President Trump announced a ban in July of 2017 on future transgender individuals enlisting in the American military. Trump tweeted, “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming . . .  victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.” This caused outrage, especially on the left side of the political aisle. Critics claimed the policy was discriminatory to the LGBTQ+ community & insensitive toward transgender servicepeople.

The United States military is the most powerful armed force in the world. We face countless threats all over the globe. As such, the standards to serve in combat are rigorous. Soldiers must be of the highest fitness, both physically and mentally, to defeat the enemy. Conditions including mental illnesses, depression, bipolar disorder, OCD, anxiety, anorexia, ADHD or delusional disorders will prevent someone from serving under existing military rules. Individuals with physical medical conditions including vision issues, heart conditions and even severe skin acne are also disqualified from enlisting. Transgender individuals suffer from gender dysphoria (categorized by the DSM-5, the official manual for mental disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association) and have suicide-attempt rates as high as Jews living under German rule in WWII.

The military is not a laboratory for social engineering, all-abilities inclusion or gender diversity. It serves one purpose: to win America’s battles, every time. Many, many people are routinely turned away from serving in the military – whether or not they are transgender. Having individuals who compromise the integrity of military standards, group cohesion or combat readiness place every other soldier in danger. Military service is actually a privilege, not a fundamental American right. 

I have great sympathy for folks who suffer with their identity. We should be gracious & caring in our treatment of transgender individuals in everyday life. However, the military needs to be a cohesive and aggressive fighting force. Physical, mental or emotional shortcomings of any kind disqualify Americans from enlisting. We should continue to uphold high standards for military service. Weakening our nation’s fighting forces for the sake of inclusion and political correctness is dangerous. 

PC: The Federalist.

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