President Obama's Secretary of Defense announced at the Pentagon today that the United States military's ban on cross-dressers is being lifted. From now on, people the mental condition "gender dysphoria" - i.e. they are one sex, but mentally believe themselves to be the opposite sex, formerly called "Gender Identity Disorder" (they recently changed the name to make it not sound like the mental disorder that it is) - are welcome to join the military.
Secretary Carter justified the change by saying:
"[W]e don't want barriers unrelated to a person's qualification to serve preventing us from recruiting or retaining the soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine who can best accomplish the mission".Okay.
But then Mr. Carter went on to describe how medical services would be provided by the military, including surgery, to medically change that service member into whatever sex they tell military leaders they want to be. Medical services for this type of, uh...situation, include the genital surgical deconstruction and construction, breast augmentation, facial plastic surgery, "voice therapy" (training a man to talk with a higher voice like a woman) and mental health services to assist with the emotional difficulties of surgically altering oneself into something that resembles a person that one is biologically incapable of actually being.
A search for reliable sources on the recovery time for sex change operations yielded a wide range of time from a few months to a few years, depending on several factors. So, one can reasonably expect to have to be off work recuperating and rehabilitating various medical procedures for several months to a year. Possibly longer. And those times are for a typical civilian job. Not a military position. With this in mind, how can cross-dressing Soldiers, Marines, Sailors or Airmen possibly be considered the one who "can best accomplish the mission"? They will be entering, or remaining in, military service with a built-in medical disability to perform their job for a substantial period of their service.
Secretary Carter also explained that these special troops will be allowed to use the living quarters, bathroom and shower facilities, wear the uniform and be held to the fitness standard of their preferred gender. This means biological men, with altered genitalia, will be held to the lower women's physical fitness standards. It will also be interesting to see the effect on female morale, recruitment and retention at having a bunkmate who is biologically a man. One has to believe that there will be some effect on female troops. Whether it results in fewer actual women remaining or joining the military, or different types of females joining or remaining, one thing is for certain: Changes like this cannot be made without consequence. What those consequences are remains to be seen.
If budgets were not an issue and the world were at peace, this would still not make any sense. But we know neither one of those are the case.
The U.S. Army is slashing troop levels to the lowest real number of troops since before World War Two, and the lowest level as a percentage of the population since before the Civil War. (See my column at WND.com on that topic.) Commanders are having to figure out a way to accomplish missions with fewer people, fewer dollars and older equipment. The Navy and Air Force have sounded the alarm that budget cuts have severely diminished the operational capabilities of aircraft to the point that airplanes are being grounded and cannibalized for parts to keep other airplanes flying. Just this month several fighter jets have crashed, including a Navy Blue Angel and an Air Force Thunderbird that had just flown over a commencement speech given by Obama at the Air Force Academy. In a single month last year five F-16 fighters crashed due to engine failure or other breakdown.
But, no worries, Secretary Carter assures us. In these times of tightened budgets and slashed personnel levels while we face an enemy who is cutting the heads off American citizens on YouTube and detonating suicide vests anywhere they can find a crowd, Mr. Carter assures the American people that commanders will be given flexibility in how to serve the needs of the transgender servicemembers in their ranks and how to best provide them medical care and job assignments. After all, he reasoned, not all cross-dressers are the same.
Sex change operations and related medical treatments are expensive. They are also elective procedures. When troop levels are being slashed to 150-year lows and fighter jets are using pieces pulled off other airplanes just to be able to fly, while American service members and civilians are slaughtered around the world, one might be forgiven for wondering if we have entered a time of national insanity.
Back to that cracked molar that was pulled out in Baghdad ten years ago this week. I still have a hole back there where that tooth used to live. I have inquired several times since I got back home about getting a tooth implant. They are surprisingly expensive. As an Army Reservist over the next few years I had a civilian dentist try to help me get it paid for by the Army. He reasoned that, since the tooth was lost while in a combat zone on active duty and removed by an Army dentist, that the Army should fix it. He put the request through more than once. The Army refused to pay for it. I asked about getting an implant at my VA visits, too, but have been denied there as well. It is not a huge deal. I am a blessed man to be only missing a molar. Annoying, but not noticeable to anyone. Since the Department of Defense suddenly has all the money it needs to surgically mutilate the genitals and other body parts of otherwise physically healthy servicemembers - on purpose - maybe I should put in another request to get that tooth fixed.