The following is an opinion of the writer and doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of SOFREP or any other employee of it.

Usually, when someone writes that, you can assume that they are going to say something that is inflammatory. Well, this isn’t going to be one of those pieces… I guess it depends on your point of view.

Unless you’ve lived under a rock for the past several days, all that you’ve read is about the declaration by President Trump that transgender persons will not be allowed to serve in the military in any capacity. That, of course, set off a firestorm on social media as people of every viewpoint came out to voice their opinion either for or against it.

And like all social media posts in the past few years, it quickly turned into shouting matches, with neither side trying to engage in any kind of meaningful conversation, but just insults shouted over one another. Count me out. And when I see one of those posts? Click…moving on.

But there is no escaping it, even today (Thursday), at a pro football training camp, the conversation somehow turned from the NFL into who is right, wrong or completely ill-informed on the subject of transgenders. Friends and family have asked my opinion on it which until now I’ve stayed away from.

I have always cherished my personal freedom that I enjoy as a citizen of this country. I believe in them, practice them and protect them. As long as your beliefs aren’t endangering myself, my family or the USA, I may not agree with you but respect your right to have a different opinion. I don’t preach my beliefs to others and don’t wish yours preached to or at me. That’s respect.

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So for me, and this is just me speaking, I could care less if transgenders want to serve in the military with a single caveat, which I’ll get to later. The only thing I’m interested in, can you do your job? Are you going to be a trustworthy teammate, someone myself and the rest of the team can trust with their life? Can you heft a rucksack and carry it all day, all night and all day again? Can you pick up a hurt teammate with all of his gear and safely carry him out of harm’s way?

If the answers to all of those questions are yes, then sign up for Selection, go thru the course and meet the same standards as the rest of the Regiment. If you pass and are found capable, then I’ll give you a tip of the Beret, hoist a drink with you and welcome you to the regiment. If you can’t, for whatever reason, then sorry, that is what the course is designed for. That’s what the “Special” in Special Operations is for.

I don’t care if the man or woman next to me used to be another gender…could actually care less. If they want to serve and can, just like anyone else is my only concern, just like their “traditional” gender troops.

But…(I know what you’re thinking, here’s where the idiot shows his bias), here is my caveat. I am in full support for transgenders serving, but only after they’ve completed any and all therapy, surgery, post-surgical therapy. If you want to serve, come to us ready to serve not in three-to-four years after all of this process is done, at the government’s expense.

And by expense, I just don’t mean in terms of dollars for therapy and surgery. Time is a very valuable asset in today’s military. Time will have to be spent in not only speaking with and helping troops who identify themselves as transgenders, but with the other troops as well. The time that could be and SHOULD be spent in preparing for war. Separate facilities will have to be set up, more additional troops will have to be assigned to handle the administrative tasks to care for these troops.

Secretary of Defense Mattis has recently stated the military has to cease with “senseless” training and get back to strictly warfighting preparation. I couldn’t agree more.

The entire process from the time that a member of the military identifies him or herself as a transgender until the therapy, surgery and follow-on care is complete is measured in years not months. And as soon as a military member makes it known that they are transgender, that person is non-deployable. So yes, it does affect the readiness of the force. By the time all of that process is done a soldier would almost be done with their enlistment. What is the incentive for remaining?

The military isn’t a social experiment or a huge free clinic for the confused men and women of America. The military’s purpose, its sole reason for being is to protect the citizens of this country and to crush our enemies on the fields of battle. We’re currently engaged in one of the longest wars in our nation’s history. And there is no end in sight. In fact, there are other hot spots brewing all over the globe. We have more wars on-going or brewing at any time since World War II.

The military is very discriminatory on who it lets in the service. Those with physical and emotional disabilities aren’t allowed in. And from everything that is being published, even by those in favor of this state, that the suicide rate for transgenders is very high. Then why not have all of those issues taken care of before even enlisting?

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We need every service member able to answer the call, having more and more troops non-deployable requires two to three times that number to also remain behind for support and administrative tasks.

Right now the point is moot. The Joint Chiefs have spoken and said that they’re not going to change the country’s transgender policy… at least for now. But the bottom line is this: If they can do the job and are ready to do the job (and not before) then let them. But let’s all remember that the military has a job to do and the mission comes first.

 

Photo Courtesy: DOD