Transgender Service Members Will Transition with the Help of Their Commanding Officers [videos]

Transgender Service Members Will Transition with the Help of Their Commanding Officers [videos]

Transgender Service Members Will Transition with the Help of Their Commanding Officers [videos]

With the announcement by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter that transgender individuals would be allowed to serve in the military, a new bureaucracy was created. It is called the Service Central Coordination Cell or SCCC. Not sure who came up with that tongue twister but its purpose will be to aid commanders in shepherding their transgender service members through the gender transition process.

This starts with approving government-funded medical treatment of genital reconstruction surgery and hormone therapy, and then recovery, and then the final phase of determining the member’s fitness to return to duty after he or she receives a new official “gender marker.”

The commander must also ensure that sensitivity training sessions are held to inform troops on non-discrimination of transgender individuals. Out of 1.3 million active duty forces, it is estimated that 1,300-6,600 are transgender.

The directive will go into effect on October 1 of this year. The guide states:

Service members can get extended time off during their transition

Personnel getting a sex change can’t live their “preferred gender” until transition is complete

Commanders must give transgender training sessions to deter discrimination

Service members must get a note from their doctor to ensure that changing sex is “medically necessary”

Commanders must approve funding on a case-by-case basis for a service member’s surgery, therapy and recovery

Fully transitioned service members must use the bathrooms of their new “gender marker”

All of this sounds like one big cluster in the making. Am I a terrible person for thinking that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was a much better solution? Everybody go about your private business, treat each other with respect in the work place, and carry out the mission.

The work place, particularly in the military, in not a place where every facet of one’s life needs to be on display. In fact, many service members have a personal policy of maintaining a private home life. If service members want to share personal things with each other, that is fine too, but there’s no reason to think everyone’s personal life should be on public display. In fact, bringing so much personal baggage into the military workplace – whether it be sexual preference, gender identity, divorce, religion, you name it, can frequently be seen as detrimental to unit cohesiveness. Military members are frequently counseled if their lives start to interfere with work – and it can reflect negatively in supervisor evaluations.

The command doesn’t want to and shouldn’t be dealing with personal problems in such an intrusive way. Commanders are interested in taking care of their troops, but know enough to refer problems to the services where the troop can get specialized help when needed. Here it appears that the commander will unfortunately have to become an integral part of a person’s transgender journey whether the person or the commander want that to happen.

This is not to say that the military dismisses personal problems. The opposite is true – there is every resource under the sun available for active duty service members. The command is aided by these outside sources since it is relieved of involvement in a troop’s personal affairs. This transgender directive mandates that a commanding officer have oversight of gender transition – which seems to be an extraordinary addition to command duties, a very unwanted intrusion into both the requirements of command and the potential desire for privacy by a transitioning transgender person.

The cost of this new bureaucracy in time, money, and frustration, is probably not going to come out positively in the cost-benefit analysis either. The military needs to be left to focusing on war fighting. Anything that diverges from that mission must be examined very closely. Hormone therapies are one thing, but if a transgender person wants to have what a lot of people would consider elective surgery, then the individual needs to be responsible for that on his or her own. The United States military should not be involved in that process whatsoever. Some transgender people suffer from severe anxiety and other mental issues. Those people should be evaluated as to whether they are fit for duty in the first place.

Robert Maginnis, a retired Army officer who has opposed President Obama’s policy of gays in the military and women in land combat, said Mr. Carter is “delusional if he believes our military needs transgenders/transsexuals to remain the ‘finest fighting force in the world.’”

“Transsexuals suffer from more psychiatric pathologies than the general population, and active suicide ideation and major depression episodes occur more frequently within this group,” Mr. Maginnis said. “Creating a bureaucracy to sort out transgender issues will go down in the history of our armed forces as the worst waste of defense dollars ever.

“Further, hiring a medical staff to provide ongoing treatment for these people robs precious money better used for treating our war wounded,” he said.

We can laughingly credit (or blame) Slick Willy with Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, but I for one am happy to applaud him for that policy. It worked to keep the military focused on the mission, and very importantly, kept the government out of people’s private lives.

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