Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government The Military Politics

Donald Trump Says US Military Will Not Allow Transgender People To Serve (theguardian.com) 904

Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would not allow transgender individuals to serve in the US military in any capacity. From a report: The US president 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." He added: "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." Trump's decision marks a sharp reversal of a policy initiated under Barack Obama, in which the Pentagon ended a longtime ban on transgender people from serving openly in the military. As a candidate, Trump cast himself as a supporter of LGBT rights and indicated he would uphold certain Obama-era policies designed to protect transgender people.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Donald Trump Says US Military Will Not Allow Transgender People To Serve

Comments Filter:
  • by NoNonAlphaCharsHere ( 2201864 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @09:05AM (#54881525)
    Full body shiver.
    • by arglebargle_xiv ( 2212710 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @09:10AM (#54881561)

      Nahh, it's OK, just think of it as "mit meinen Generalen".

      Oh.

    • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @10:33AM (#54882525) Journal

      Perhaps he's promoted Steve Bannon to General. After all, we know this is where it's coming from.

    • by superwiz ( 655733 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @11:05AM (#54882957) Journal
      The President is the commander-in-chief. So the generals of the US armed forces are his generals.
  • It makes sense (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Drollia ( 807891 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @09:11AM (#54881565)
    If a soldier has to take Hormone replacement pills every day, and then they are suddenly unavailable, I could see it causing some issues.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hebbinator ( 1001954 )

      Do yourself a favor -

      Spend a minute and look into the literally THOUSANDS of military jobs that are not in combat zones or areas of scarcity.

      This is not a logistical move - if it was, it would come from the pentagon and not from a loudmouth on Twitter.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Drollia ( 807891 )
        I am a veteran. I deployed to Afghanistan. I was in a non-combat job. The push you out to some shitty places where things are not available to you all of the time. Things like running water, meals that aren't MRE's etc. It may be difficult for you to get the medication that you need if you were deployed. If you are unable to deploy because of a medical issue, then you have no business being in the Military.
        • by Oswald McWeany ( 2428506 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @09:26AM (#54881747)

          But what do you think is going to happen if in an emergency they miss their hormones? It might be undesirable for them, but it's not going to put anyone's life in danger, it's not going to be a problem for anyone other than them.

          They should be free to decide whether that risk is worthwhile for them or not.

          • by ArmoredDragon ( 3450605 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @09:52AM (#54882079)

            I can speak further about this because I was discharged from the Army for having a condition called Congenital Stationary Night Blindness. The way the military works is that no matter what job you have, combat or not, you still have to have a wartime duty, which applies to ANY military occupation. For example, the Army (music) band functions as enemy POW prison guards during time of war. All service members, including cooks, are expected to be able to fire weapons and throw grenades, because every single one of them are expected to be either in or very close to the combat zone.

            In my particular case, the logic is that if I was out in the combat zone (my MOS was 19D) or anywhere near it, and night came around, I would be ineffective and would end up being a liability to my battle buddies. Sure, there are night vision goggles, but what if they are damaged, batteries run out, etc? Doesn't work, hence discharge.

            In the case of a transgender, if the combat situation caused them to ever separated from their unit for a long period of time (something that happens often) they'd become a liability to their battle buddies. MtF trans would also have to carry other gear around if they've had bottom surgery, which also presents a logistical problem.

            At least, this applies to the Army, the same would definitely apply to the Marines, so those two would be right out. It would also likely apply to the Navy as well since they are out at sea for years at a time (definite logistical issues there,) and can and do approach combat zones. Air Force personnel are rarely in the combat zone (except for pilots) but they are typically near the combat zone where they can and do make contact with the enemy.

            Furthermore, in any service branch, they don't position you based on your military occupation, rather they position you based on wherever your unit is deployed to, and your unit has many different occupations within it. They aren't going to say "well, our unit can't deploy here because we have a transgender person in it."

        • by Thruen ( 753567 )
          Sounds to me like transgenders could face the same problems as anybody else. If that's an issue, isn't it already covered in how they deal with everyone else with medical needs? There's nothing really unique about the transgender situation, existing policies to address medical issues and procedures (elective or otherwise) should already cover everything that could apply to a transgender. Is there any actual reason to single them out, or are there just a lot of ignorant and hateful people?
          • and? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @10:43AM (#54882677)

            You don't think you can be medically discharged for an inability to perform duties for _any_ reason in the Military? You don't know jack about the Military. I'm a US Army vet, and have zero problems with this ruling but not simply because of the medication. I'll give two easy examples.

            First, as GP stated above, the Military has to be a very cohesive bunch. In back line situations you have communal showers and bathrooms with little privacy. In front line situations, you have a canteen and hole that you dig. You put the majority of the military at a very compromising position with transgender soldiers. The twig and berries don't vanish because a person believes they are a woman, any more than breasts and bush vanish when a women believes they are man. So should the women in the military be forced to look at a twig and berries in the showers? Do you think it's fair to the men to stick a naked women who thinks they are man into a shower with them? Not that people want things to happen in either of those circumstances, but you are providing a very high risk and completely unnecessary situation for soldiers.

            Next, you have PT rules by gender because _biology_ differences give us different limitations and abilities. The military loses effectiveness due to some of those differences already but has learned to cope. What they can't cope with is a completely arbitrary set of restrictions for every potential soldier. How do you cope with a guy who claims to be a woman? Do they get to do PT based on woman's rules or men's rules? Can the woman be medically discharged because the believe they are a man but can't do 80 pushups in under 2 minutes? Don't you believe more and more soldiers would not just try to drop out medically, but claim to be a more convenient gender for things like PT testing and promotion consideration?

            The Military is not about "me", it's about "the force". Since we do not force service people who want "me" don't have to serve.

            For the person who claimed not all jobs in the Military are combat, I say bullshit! Every soldier is trained on how to kill the enemy and defend against attacks. Even if your job isn't going out on patrol looking for enemies, you are at risk simply by being a soldier. Your first job and first responsibility in the Military is to be a Soldier. Your secondary job is to be a medic, mechanic, etc... (See Jessica Lynch, or any of the other people attacked, wounded, killed, or captured away from the front lines.)

            • Re:and? (Score:4, Insightful)

              by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @11:37AM (#54883355)

              "First, as GP stated above, the Military has to be a very cohesive bunch. In back line situations you have communal showers and bathrooms with little privacy."

              Isn't that the same argument that was once used against mix-race units?

            • I always find it odd when vets bring up the shower argument. After boot camp, when were you ever subjected to group showers? I was a Marine '02-'07. I was stationed a couple places and I was deployed to Iraq. After boot camp, I never had to deal with communal showers. Occasionally, there was no water for showers, but never a time where everybody had to shower together. In Iraq, on a tiny FOB in the middle of nowhere, my unit cobbled a shower together with a pallet, a tarp, and one of those camp shower bags.

        • If you are unable to deploy because of a medical issue, then you have no business being in the Military.

          Fair enough. In which case, presumably this should be a case-by-case thing, rather than a blanket ban. Pretty sure that different trans people will have different medical needs, whereas a blanket ban doesn't address that at all. What it does do is play well to the fundamental Trump base that think trans people are morally wrong and should be punished.

    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      If a soldier has to take Hormone replacement pills every day, and then they are suddenly unavailable, I could see it causing some issues.

      So are you suggesting an event like this:


      Sgt. Bigman:
      Pvt Wassman, go shoot those Ruskies over there or the whole unit will perish.

      Pvt Wassmann: Sorry Sarge! I ran out of hormone pills today, I can't carry out my orders.

      * BOOM * - Entire US army wiped out because Wassmann ran out of hormone pills

      I can see that being a legitimate concern. Just like people who normally take migraine medicine might run out of that- and then they will kill everyone and not follow orders rather than have a migraine.

      Or ho

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @09:21AM (#54881703)

      The military doesn't need to be at the forefront of social change. There is nothing wrong with the military lagging, and by doing so in minimizes internal disruption. Heck, greater society is still fighting bathroom policy, the military has other stuff to occupy its time.

      • by houghi ( 78078 )

        There is a difference between lagging due to being a slow institute or staying behind because you do not WANT to follow.

      • by Dixie_Flatline ( 5077 ) <vincent.jan.goh@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @10:46AM (#54882703) Homepage

        The military is already, apparently, the largest employer of transgender people in the USA. This is a political decision, not a practical one. How do we know? The DoD is telling reporters to go talk to the WH about this policy change, AND the Secretary of Defence is currently ON VACATION.

        This decision has nothing to do with whether the military can handle it or not; they have been.

        • by Obfuscant ( 592200 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @02:45PM (#54885445)

          The military is already, apparently, the largest employer of transgender people in the USA. This is a political decision, not a practical one.

          This also WAS a political decision, not a practical one. Political decisions get changed when the politicians change. Did you complain when Obama made his political decision? Then "it's a political decision" is a very unconvincing argument for you to make.

          This decision has nothing to do with whether the military can handle it or not; they have been.

          They were forced to handle it, now they are not being forced to handle it anymore. Just because they were forced to handle it before doesn't mean it was an optimal situation.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      FWIW There are time release options available that are implanted under the skin. I don't know how long they last and how often they're replaced, but I did want to just point that out.

  • Contentious issue (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @09:12AM (#54881577)

    Sorry, Trump... that genie is already out of the bottle. Legislation is probably necessary to roll it back at this point.

    My feeling is this is bound to wind up in the 9th circuit district court with an injunctive order issued against this change in policy.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Kohath ( 38547 )

      Hopefully that happens right before an election so people have a chance to decide whether transgendered issues matter more than issues that affect the other 99+% of people.

    • by Train0987 ( 1059246 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @10:06AM (#54882249)
      Trump is the elected Commander in Chief of the armed forces. He has sole authority to do this. The 9th circuit has zero say.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Legislation is probably necessary to roll it back at this point.

      What legislation? The ban on transgenders in the military was lifted by an executive order from the Obama administration [wikipedia.org]; there was never any legislation of the kind. Trump is reversing an EO not a law. EOs are not laws, the separation clause reserves that power to the legislative branch, the judicial branch will not interpret EOs as laws, penalties cannot be levied against violators, and most federal agencies not under executive control w

  • "As a candidate, Trump cast himself as a supporter of LGBT rights and indicated he would uphold certain Obama-era policies designed to protect transgender people."

    Why do reporters continue to bother with this... Clearly his supporters don't care what he said he would do and what he IS doing, and even more clearly, his non-supporters don't need anymore ammunition to dislike him.

    Yea it's fun to call him out on lying/not holding onto campaign promises, but seriously, this is NOT new at all with any politician,

    • He is protecting them! Now they won't be faced with bullets, or coopted into the embarrassment that is this administration's international politics and military decisions.

  • and if we have a draft will this last?

    • and if we have a draft will this last?

      That could be rather amusing if we have a new Vietnam. Suddenly everyone's a transsexual to avoid being drafted. I'm probably too old to be drafted but in 5 years my son will be of age. I'll start suggesting he consider becoming a woman if war breaks out immediately.

  • In many situations the US military has no way to get individual medications to troops in the field. If a transgender person has any medical need to keep on medications they would not normally qualify. Many people are rejected from service over medical need to reliably take medications. However in Trump's case he is most likely trying to impress the most ignorant Americans by persecuting others. I am concerned that we may see violence used against republic members of the House and Senate over their be
  • PC (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @09:18AM (#54881675)

    I personally know a former Marine. He loved serving. He was an NCO, a sargeant. He's one of these disciplined and athletic guys who actually likes all the running and training. He spoke so fondly of it that I asked him why he would have left. He told me that the political correctness was just becoming ridiculous. The female Marines just didn't have the physical performance capabilities of the males (the best among them were about equal to the average male, and those were exceptional) - this is the same reason sports and the Olympics have Men's and Women's events. It's just the nature of the sexes and beyond our control. The top brass kept trying to ignore these differences, to the point that it was harming combat effectiveness in many situations. Of course, in a military environment you do what you're told and you shut your mouth about it, so he and other NCOs had no voice and no ability to protest. Eventually he got tired of it so when his term of service was up, he got out. He told me he was not the only one, not by far. Politics was not why he signed up.

    People already generally have a hard time being rational about real, measurable physical strength/performance differences between men and women. And those can easily be demonstrated and proven. The whole LGBT topic tends to cause even more extreme irrational reactions and controversy. You really don't want this kind of bickering in a military unit where distractions and small mistakes get people killed. It's the one place you can't afford it.

    There's plenty of things Trump has said and done that I don't like. This time though, I think he's making the right call and probably knows he's going to take a lot of outrage for it. I can respect that whether I like the guy or not.

    • Re:PC (Score:5, Interesting)

      by joe_frisch ( 1366229 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @09:26AM (#54881743)

      Its an interesting question. Women are on average not as strong as men and they are on average smaller. so fighter planes designed for women pilots would be more efficient. Should our next generation military aircraft and other roles that don't require physical strength be optimized for women, while roles that require physical strength are optimized for men.

      • Its an interesting question. Women are on average not as strong as men and they are on average smaller. so fighter planes designed for women pilots would be more efficient. Should our next generation military aircraft and other roles that don't require physical strength be optimized for women, while roles that require physical strength are optimized for men.

        Careful, you're perilously close to suggesting that men aren't superior to women in every single way imaginable, therefore likely to come foul of the /. "common sense" brigade.

      • Next generation aircraft will likely be designed for AIs, not men or women. But yeah, if there are other roles for which small body size is an advantage, then we should look into filling those roles with women.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Kokuyo ( 549451 )

      I understand that part completely as well.

      I mean how much would it suck to be in a deadly situation during combat that the strength of a man would get you out of and all you have is a woman who doesn't quite cut it?

      Granted, if you lack the numbers, having women bolster them makes sense. But only then.

      For all the other jobs in the armed forces though, this does not apply. So banning women and transgenders from those jobs as well is... questionable.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fropenn ( 1116699 )

      You really don't want this kind of bickering in a military unit where distractions and small mistakes get people killed. It's the one place you can't afford it.

      This same justification was used for years to keep blacks out of the military. And women. And gay people. And on and on.

      Maybe instead the military could train people how to avoid "distractions and small mistakes," instead of thinking that those issues could be avoided by excluding certain 'undesirable' people.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by lbmouse ( 473316 )
      The large majority of jobs in the U.S. armed forces are not fighting or even physical roles.
      • The large majority of jobs in the U.S. armed forces are not fighting or even physical roles.

        A great-uncle, a WW2 paratrooper, shared his frozen hole in the ground on the font lines of Bastogne with a truck driver who had not fired a weapon since basic training.

        Another great-uncle, brother of the previous, was a clerk aboard a Navy destroyer in the Pacific during WW2. His primary job involving logs, ledgers and typewriters but during combat these were put aside and his secondary job came into play, anti-aircraft gun crew member. His tertiary job was Browning Automatic Rifleman (he did well in Ba

  • Social Experiments (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Templer421 ( 4988421 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @09:20AM (#54881701)

    Don't belong in the Military. They have a job to do.

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @09:22AM (#54881711)
    From the healthcare vote going on right now. Worked too. This crap is now front page on CNN while our Congress Critters are dealing in the back.
    • by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @09:30AM (#54881807) Homepage Journal

      They've found something even worse with the healthcare vote, too. A partial measure? That's not a plan; it's ridiculous. Either repeal it all and put down a structured, planned bill; leave it in place; or improve upon it. Just clipping pieces for politics will cause destabilization of the healthcare industry and severe economic fall-out with worse consequences than even rolling back Obamacare in full!

      It's ludicrous that we have people who aren't trying to improve the situation, but rather are just fucking around with healthcare. This isn't even a policy issue; it's plain reckless behavior and puts the American people at risk.

  • "Trump cast himself as a supporter of LGBT rights"

    No, if I recall he was a supporter of LG BTQ...whatever that is, maybe a type of sandwich, or some new device from LG?

  • When the Dems and the left are talking about transgendered issues, they're forgetting the needs of 99+% of Americans. But they can't help themselves, because if every year isn't always 1964, then leftism is just bullying.

  • 2 reason why (Score:4, Insightful)

    by randomErr ( 172078 ) <ervin,kosch&gmail,com> on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @09:26AM (#54881751) Journal

    There are two reasons for this:

    * Physiological - There's enough issues with men and women serving together in high stress situations. This would be another distraction.
    * Political - Just like his attacks on his attorney general this is a distraction from the fact that the Republicans could not get Repeal and/or Replace of ObamaCare through again.

  • They ban trasgendered for no reason, but allow muslims to serve despite the many attacks by them: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] http://www.thegatewaypundit.co... [thegatewaypundit.com]
  • by freak0fnature ( 1838248 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @09:40AM (#54881913)
    I was rejected for mild scoliosis....I would think being born with the wrong genitals would be a more severe condition than that. I require no treatment and rarely ever even feel discomfort...compared to someone who will require treatment for the rest of their lives.
  • ...Okay he did. But he meant WPGT. Because those ladies look good when they bend over to tee up.
  • I am sorry? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bender Unit 22 ( 216955 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @10:34AM (#54882553) Journal

    How is this in any way relevant for a tech site?

    • I don't know, ask the 350 posts actively discussing this. Based on site participation this is currently the most interesting and relevant thing on this page.

  • by redmid17 ( 1217076 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @11:01AM (#54882911)
    It's basically a non-issue.

    http://www.rand.org/content/da... [rand.org]

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"

Working...