So, this might be a mistake, but I am going to wade into the swamp of this transgender ban that President Donald Trump has re-instated on the military as of July 26, 2017.  After all, I can’t let BK hog all of the spotlight on this one.

In explanation, the President announced via Twitter today that “the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military.”

The President went on to tweet that the military must be focused on “decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgenders in the military would entail.”  Let’s break it down, shall we.

According to the Department of Defense’s “Fact Sheet” on the implementation of the Obama administration’s 2016 policy to allow transgenders to serve in the military — applicable prior to President Trump’s announcement —   the Defense Department’s finding that “open service by transgender Service members, while being subject to the same standards and procedures as other members with regard to their medical fitness for duty, physical fitness, uniform and grooming, deployability, and retention, is consistent with military readiness.”

In addition, “the Military Health System will be required to provide transgender Service members with all medically necessary care related to gender transition, based on the guidance that is issued.” 

Finally, the “initial accession policy will require an individual to have completed any medical treatment that their doctor has determined is necessary in connection with their gender transition, and to have been stable in their preferred gender for 18 months, as certified by their doctor, before they can enter the military.”  That standard would then be reviewed “no later than 24 months from July 1, 2016 to ensure it reflects what more we learn as this is implemented, as well as the most updated medical information.”

Herein there are two important points to look at, as far as I can tell.  First, allowing transgenders to serve should not, and will not, according to the DOD under President Obama, effect military readiness.  I agree with that assessment, though many call it a political one that was forced on military leaders by President Obama’s DOD.

Regardless, military readiness should rightly be the starting point when we look at this issue, and we can argue over whether allowing transgenders to serve effects that, or if that is even a knowable fact right now.  We can also argue whether or not President Obama’s DOD made the correct assessment in that regard.