Restoring America’s Military Strength: Military Readiness or Transgender Politics

 

Conservative leaders strongly support the principle of peace through strength and therefore the need for immediate action to return the priority of the Department of Defense to restoring America’s military readiness and ending costly and distracting social engineering.

President Trump has mandated that his Administration restore the strength of our military.  We, and most Americans appreciate the steps taken to reinstate the priorities Secretary of Defense (James) Mattis noted during his confirmation hearing: mission readiness, command proficiency, and combat effectiveness.

The process of strengthening our military will not succeed, however, if military service personnel have to contend with problematic military/social policies imposed by the Obama Administration – policies that actually impede mission readiness, command proficiency, and combat effectiveness.

Conservative leaders urgently suggest that the Trump Administration review and rescind the Obama-era policies that hinder military readiness and overall effectiveness.[1] Politically correct policies have been imposed largely through administrative fiat.  They can be removed in like manner while further study and congressional guidance is obtained.  The most problematic policies in this category are those addressing the presence of transgender individuals in the military.

Transgender issues have become especially prominent since various Obama Administration decisions holding that as of June 30, 2016, transgender service members would no longer be discharged from military service, and as of July 2017, transgender recruits would be accepted into the military.  Obama’s Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter adopted these policies, even though such personnel are likely to need costly medical, surgical, and psychological care that may undermine readiness by rendering these service members non-deployable.

The policies adopted require our Armed Forces to officially assume the risks of recruiting and retaining persons who are suffering with a condition[2] requiring long-term medical and perhaps,  surgical treatment, with uncertain results often associated with higher rates of depression and suicide.[3]  The accommodation of such individuals in the military indicates that the U.S. Department of Defense will bear the cost of hormone treatments, surgery, and post-operative care to facilitate “gender transitioning.”

Furthermore, the time taken away from commanders’ combat-related duties while they essentially take on the responsibilities of medical case workers will be significant.  It represents a tremendous opportunity cost to take these men and women away from duties that would improve combat readiness and require that they instead master the nuances of a complex psycho-sexual medical sub-specialty, and initiate or approve procedures  for which they have no formal training.

It must be difficult to suffer from gender dysphoria and confusion about one’s sexual identity, but concerns about these individuals do not justify mandates on military medical doctors and nurses to approve, provide, or participate in life-altering transgender treatment or surgeries.  Many object to these experimental treatments on grounds of medical ethics or sincere religious convictions.

With these points in mind, we welcome the Pentagon’s recent nullification of an October 1, 2016 Defense Department directive imposing “open-door” shower and bathroom guidelines on all Department of Defense schools.  However, continuing implementation of the Obama transgender policies for service members would ignore the strongly-felt concerns of women particularly, who do not want to be exposed to individuals of the opposite sex in facilities which offer minimal privacy.  This grave problem must be taken seriously when the incidence of sexual assaults and rape in the military is so severe.

We reiterate that these sweeping policy changes have been made without any statutory direction from the Congress.

Secretary Mattis should suspend and, upon further careful study, rescind Defense Department and military service directives permitting transgender individuals to serve.  Such directives would include the following items, together with the dozen or more associated training manuals, handbooks, and military service implementation plans:

 

  • Directive-Type Memorandum (DTM-16-005), issued by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on June 30, 2016, prescribing procedures for accession, retention, in-service transition, and medical coverage for transgender personnel.
  • DoD Instruction 1300.28, signed by Defense Secretary Carter on June 30, 2016, setting forth complicated procedures for changing a service members “gender marker” in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).[4]

 

Further, the Trump Administration should discontinue funding and directing personnel resources for special-interest events, including LGBT-Pride Month events in June, which do not strengthen military readiness.

Because people are policy, we encourage President Trump to appoint qualified people who will assign highest priority to military effectiveness, not social transformation, to high-level Defense Department policy positions.[5]

We will support officials and initiatives taken to end politically-correct social agendas, and look forward to more changes that will strengthen the armed forces and restore America’s military readiness.

 

The Honorable Edwin Meese III
Former Attorney General
President Ronald Reagan
The Honorable Becky Norton Dunlop
Chairman, Conservative Action Project
Former White House Advisor, President Ronald Reagan
Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin (Ret)
Executive Vice President
Family Research Council
 
The Honorable David McIntosh
U.S. House of Representatives
Former Member, Indiana
 
The Honorable Bob McEwen
U.S. House of Representatives
Former Member, Ohio
 
William L. Walton
Vice President
Council for National Policy
David Bozell
President
ForAmerica
 
Alfred S. Regnery
Chairman
Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund
 
The Honorable T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr.
Former Domestic Advisor
President Ronald Reagan
 
Tony Perkins MPA
President, Family Research Council
President, Council for National Policy
 
Elaine Donnelly
President
Center for Military Readiness
 
Robert K. Fischer
Meeting Coordinator
Conservatives of Faith
Charles J. Cooper
Former Assistant Attorney General
President Ronald Reagan
 
Belden Bell
Co-Chair
Heritage Legacy Society
L. Brent Bozell, III
Founder and President
Media Research Center
 
Ambassador Henry F. Cooper
Former SDI Director and
Chief Defense and Space Negotiator
 
Willes K. Lee
President, National Federation of
Republican Assemblies
 
Col Francis X. De Luca USMCR(Ret)
President
Civitas Institute
Peter J. Thomas
Chairman
Americans for Constitutional Liberty
 
Rod D. Martin
Founder & CEO
The Martin Organization, Inc.
Sherri R. Martin
Executive Vice President
The Martin Organization, Inc.
 
Haley E. Martin
President
The Martin Foundation
Evelio Silvera
Campaign for the American Future
 
Nicholas Stehle
Campaign for the American Future
Anthony Allen
President
Hannibal LaGrange University
 
Shawn A. Mitchell
National Chaplain, National Federation of Republican Assemblies
Jerry Melvin
President
Florida Republican Assembly
 
Rick Manning
President
Americans for Limited Government
Lee A. Beaman
Chief Executive Officer
Beaman Automotive
 
Ted Baehr
Chairman and CEO
Movieguide®
 
Michael J. Bowen
CEO
Coalition For a Strong America
 
Eunie Smith
President
Eagle Forum
Tim G. Echols
Commissioner, State of Georgia
Founder, TeenPact
Founder, William Wilberforce Fellowship
 
Ed Martin
President
Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund
Rebekah Gantner
Executive Director, Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund
Judson Phillips
Founder
Tea Party Nation
 
T W Herrick
COB
Herrick Foundation
 
J. Keet Lewis
Co-Founder
Lewis Group International
 
Ann L. Drexel
A Strong Military for a Strong Nation
Council for National Policy
 
Linda L. Bean
Vice Chairman of the Board
Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum Education and Legal Defense Fund
 
Kay R. Daly
President
Coalition for a Fair Judiciary
 
Russell J. Ramsland, Jr.
Founder
Park Cities/Preston Hollow Leadership Forum
 
C. Preston Noell III
President
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.
 
Douglas H. Napier
Sr. Vice President, Alliance Relations
Alliance Defending Freedom
 
Penna Dexter
Radio Host
TDA
 
The Honorable Gary L. Bauer
President
American Values
 
Tim LeFever
Chairman
Capitol Resource Institute
 
Kevin Freeman
Founder
NSIC Institute
 
Melvin Adams
Past President
RENEWANATION
 
Floyd Brown
Chairman
Western Center for Journalism
 
Samuel B. Casey
Managing Director & General Counsel
Jubilee Campaign
 
The Honorable Penny Pullen
Former Ass’t Minority Leader
Illinois General Assembly
 
James P. Backlin
Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Christian Coalition of America
 
The Honorable Mike Spence
Founding President
Conservative Republicans of California
 
The Honorable James C. Miller III
Former Director of OMB under President Ronald Reagan
 
The Honorable Helen Marie Taylor
Chairman
Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund
 
Ken Boehm
Chairman
National Legal and Policy Center
 
Roxanne Phillips
Executive Committee
Council for National Policy
 
The Honorable Tom DeLay
Former Majority Leader
US House of Representatives
 
Anne Schlafly Cori
Chairman
Eagle Forum
Adm. Jerry Johnson, USN (Ret.)
Former Vice Chief of Naval Operations
 
Maj. Gen. Kenneth W. Weir, USMCR Retired
Admiral James “Ace” Lyons, Jr., USN (Ret.)
Lion Associates LLC
 
Brig. Gen. John Zierdt Jr., USA (Ret.)
USA Forces Command
 
Brig. Gen. James Mead, USMC, (Ret.)
 
Michael R. Long
State Chairman
NYS Conservative Party
 
Maj. Gen Don Infante, USA (Ret.)
 
Brig. Gen. Thomas C. Pinckney, USAF (Ret.)
 
The Honorable Donald Devine
Senior Scholar
The Fund for American Studies and Former Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under President Ronald Reagan
 
Allen Hébert
Chairman
American-Chinese Fellowship of Houston
RADM J. Robert Lunney, NYNM (Ret.)
NY Naval Militia
 
Jack Park
Conservative Activist and Donor
James C. Dobson Ph.D.
Founder & President
Family Talk
 
William Shaker
President
Rule of Law Committee
 
RADM John A. Moriarty, USN (Ret.)
 
Lt. Gen. Sam Wetzel, USA (Ret.)
 
Maj. Gen. Mel Thrash, USA (Ret.)
 
Maj. Gen Jackson L. Flake Jr., USA (Ret.)
 
Brig. Gen. John C. Arick, USMC (Ret.)
 
Gen. Frederick J. Kroesen, USA (Ret.)
 
Martha Boneta
Executive Vice President
Citizens for the Republic
 
Steven D. Brown
President
Associated Gospel Churches
Maj. Gen. John R. Farrington, USAF (Ret.) Maj. Gen. Tom Cole, USA (Ret.)
 
Joseph R. John, USNA ‘62
Capt. USN (Ret)/Former FBI
Chairman, Combat Veterans For Congress PAC
 Susan Carleson
President
American Civil Rights Union
Brig. Gen. Russell J. Kilpatrick, USAF (Ret.) Maj. Gen. John R. Farrington, USAF (Ret.)
The Honorable Tidal W. McCoy
Acting Secretary of the Air Force
U.S. Air Force
Lew Uhler
President
National Tax Limitation Committee
Brig. Gen. William A. Bloomer, USMC (Ret.) Rebecca Hagelin
Board of Directors
Dr. James Dobson’s FamilyTalk
Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D.
Washington Bureau Chief
Infowars.com
Tricia Erickson
President
Angel Pictures & Publicity, Inc.
Cindy Honcoop
State Director
Washington Eagle Forum
Hugh Scott
Retired Navy Physician
Consultant
LTC Kenneth J. Benway, USA (Ret.)
Co-Founder
Special Operations Speaks
Capt. Peter A. Hewett, JAGC, USN (Ret.)
Kris Mineau
President Emeritus
Massachusetts Family Institute
Maj. Gen. Bentley B. Rayburn, USAF (Ret.)
Sandy Rios
Director of Governmental Affairs
American Family Association
Paul Weber
President & CEO
Family Policy Alliance
Maj. Gen. James C. McElroy, USA (Ret.)
Former DCG First US Army

 

[1] This document mentions only a few such documents; more examples are available on request.

[2]  The American Psychiatric Association describes “gender dysphoria” (ICD-10-CM code F64.0 in the DSM-5) as follows: “Gender dysphoria involves a conflict between a person’s physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify…People with gender dysphoria may often experience significant distress and/or problems functioning associated with this conflict between the way they feel and think of themselves (referred to as experienced or expressed gender) and their physical or assigned gender.” American Psychiatry Association, “What is Gender Dysphoria?” https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/gender-dysphoria/what-is-gender-dysphoria, accessed April 28, 2017.

[3] In a May 13, 2016, Wall Street Journal Commentary article titled “Transgender Surgery Isn’t the Solution,” Dr. Paul McHugh, the Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at John Hopkins University, explained that in the 1960s, Johns Hopkins pioneered “sex-reassignment” surgery for persons who did not identify with their biological sex.  The hospital discontinued the practice when follow-up studies in the 1970s found that operations on healthy tissue did not improve psycho-social adjustments. Brief of Dr. Paul R. McHugh, M.D., Ph.D., Dr. Paul Hruz, M.D., Ph.D., and Dr. Lawrence S. Mayer, Ph.D. as amici curiae in Support of Petitioner, Gloucester County School Board v. GG, No. 16-273 (U.S., October Term 2016).

[4] There is no rational reason to believe that a bureaucratic “gender marker” is the equivalent of human DNA.  True DNA gender markers exist in pairs of human chromosomes – XX in females and XY in males. Gender is identified at birth, not “assigned,” and human chromosomes cannot be changed with outward appearances or radical measures such as surgery on healthy organs.  Claims that transgendered people are “trapped” inside a body different from the gender they wish to be are based on what psychiatric specialist Dr. Joseph Berger called “feelings, not science.”

[5] See pro-defense planks in the Republican National Platform adopted in Cleveland, 2016, pp. 41-44.