President Donald Trump’s announcement that transgender individuals will be banned from serving in the U.S. military is expected to lead to the repeal of several radical policy directives set to go into effect in January 2018, according to at least one Pentagon expert.
Among the measures slated to take effect were requirements that the military begin to actively recruit transgender individuals, mandates that would force female troops to shower with biological males, and extensions of health care coverage to pay for sex-change surgeries for troops and also for their children.
“President Donald Trump has every right, and responsibility, to suspend implementation of the full array of transgender directives, instructions, and training mandates that former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter issued, starting in 2015,” Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, told LifeZette. “These are administrative mandates, which can and should be revoked in the same way.”
The premise of the directives is that gender is “assigned” at birth, instead of “identified” and thus can be changed at will.
The directives include the use of a transgender handbook, issued by the Department of Defense in 2016, which describes several scenarios and how military leaders should respond.
In one scenario, a service member named “Marty” tells his commanding officer that he is “pregnant.” The handbook recommends that Marty be allowed to think about when he wants to reveal his “pregnancy” to his colleagues and the chain of command.
Another scenario involves a reserve sergeant named “Rich” who wants to live as a female while off duty, to be addressed by a female name and use a women’s bathroom. In another one, a female swimmer transitioning to male wants to wear a male bathing suit.
The transgender handbook also warns that female cadets must be prepared to use shower, bathroom and changing facilities with transgender individuals who may have male anatomy.
The handbook and all of the transgender directives, says Donnelly, come straight from LGBT activists, with the views of all other experts omitted.
“The vocabulary and ideology of doctrinaire LGBT activists who were invited to consult with Pentagon officials appear throughout the implementation handbook,” Donnelly wrote in a report on the subject. “The handbook states, for example, ‘Gender is the socially defined roles and characteristics of being male and female associated with that sex.’ The assertion is not backed by any evidence to contradict realities of human biology. The Department of Defense nevertheless is treating as a special class anyone who feels ‘distress’ because their ‘gender identity does not match their sex at birth.'”
Other military experts blast the distraction the issue has imposed on the armed services at a time that they are under incredible strain.
“Why in the world, with all the threats and all the major issues that we face, were we dealing with this?” says Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis (Ret.) who worked on drafting the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy under former President Bill Clinton.
“Back then we knew this was going to be an issue eventually,” he told LifeZette of the transgender issue. “Naïvely as we were, we marched forward and embraced ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,'” he said. “We lived with it for some time … We were safe … then, course, the Obama people came in.”
Maginnis is a West Point graduate who served in the Army for more than 20 years. He went on to work for the Family Research Council, and then returned to the Pentagon as a consultant, where he still works, interacting every day with soldiers and commanders in all of the service branches.
He called the president’s announcement of the transgender ban on Wednesday “long overdue” and the “right decision.”
“By and large I think most people understand that this is just silliness,” he said.
Maginnis described to LifeZette how lobbyists for LGBT activists got the ear of a few commanders in the Pentagon over the years and managed to bully some into embracing reforms compliant with a far-left social agenda.
One person he named is Rudy de Leon, former undersecretary of defense for personnel from 1997 to 2000 and then, from March 2000 to March 2001, deputy secretary of defense.
De Leon, he says, constantly pushed for gay service members to be allowed to openly serve in the military, while “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was still the law.
“Because of all the political correctness, we’ve had people who have been totally intimidated,” he said.
He and Donnelly both blame Congress for not acting sooner to protect the military from being immersed in disputes over social issues.
“They just kept their heads down and didn’t want to deal with this issue,” he said of members of Congress, adding that they just let Obama “do what he wanted” on transgender individuals in the military.
“Cultures are hard to turn around. But they were making pretty good progress,” he says of the military, adding that if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency, the change would likely have been irreversible.
“They failed in their responsibility to have oversight,” says Donnelly, saying members of Congress could have and should have held hearings to look at what effects the transgender individuals now serving are having on the military.
“They forgot something important,” she said. “Congress makes policy.”
And Congress also has the power of the purse.
In the markup of this year’s defense appropriations bill, Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) offered an amendment that would have prohibited the U.S. military, and therefore taxpayers, from funding any sex-change surgeries for service members. The amendment failed, with all Democrats and several Republicans voting against it. At the time, the White House opposed passage of the amendment.
The highly controversial transgender directives, most of them drafted by President Barack Obama’s last secretary of defense, Ash Carter, were to go into effect this month. Defense Secretary James Mattis granted a six-month delay, but the heads of the Army, Marines, and Air Force had all requested a two-year delay to study the issues involved.
Donnelly says members of Congress should have asked to see all documents submitted by the commanders that explained their rationale for requesting the two-year delay, and says this information should have been made public.
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She says she thinks President Trump saw that with Congress failing to act, he had to step in.
“At this point it appears that the president just took the bull by the horns, in his inimitable way,” she said of Trump’s tweets announcing transgender individuals would be banned from serving in the military.
The next step, she said, is to repeal all of the transgender directives — “every one of them.”
(photo credit, homepage images: US Navy /US Embassy Panama, Flickr; photo credit, article images: iStock / DVIDSHUB, Flickr )