Transgender and US Military

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President Trump announced that US Military won’t accept transgender into US Military. This announcement provoked his audience on Twitter and they called his decision callous and against the human right. Many retired generals, admirals and prominent members of Congress condemned this decision of President Trump. Multiple lawsuits were filed to challenge the decision. Obama administration has allowed Trans people to serve in the military; this reverse of decision has given rise to the question that should Trans be allowed to serve military or if not then on which basis they are not allowed to serve. Is this based on some reason or this is a simple act of like and hate for the Trans community.

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Previously in 2016 Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced that Transgender are allowed to serve the military. But Carter nor Barak Obama ever articulated that how that policy will affect the military readiness. Military readiness” is the criteria that evaluate the changes made to the military personnel recruitment policy. Decision makers are under huge stress after Trump’s announcement. Under the current global situation of the economy, military and security; this decision will affect military readiness in the long term.

All the emotions Transgender have for the military are valuable but are the actually ready to serve the military is the question that many won’t consider. Military training is tough. The pace of deployment of troops has increased to the point that after nine-month deployment period, troops get nine months to recover and train before the next deployment. Training and harsh conditions put soldiers through extreme stress and put their marriages under strain, which in turn effects their mental health severely. Mental problems are common in soldiers. Stress management is an important aspect of military life survival. Will Trans people be able to control this stress, is the question.

Transgender refers to those individuals who are assigned the different gender, but they feel like another. They can look like one gender but they feel like another. This feeling of dislocation in one’s own bodies is described as gender dysphoria. Some Dysphoric change their gender, as a cure to this disorder. This requires them to go through gender reassignment operations, Hormone therapy and then appearance change treatments including, plastic surgery and laser hair removal, etc. So the procedural cost is extremely high.

The opposition to this announcement has given a passionate responses to the new decision, and they claim that numerous myths, lies, and stereotypes are attached to the Trans community, and lies should be separated from facts. They claim that Transgender are actually fit to serve. If they fulfill the requirements of any particular gender during the selection according to criteria, then they can’t be stopped from serving their country. In defense, they claim that our bodies are not perfect and we routinely alter our bodies to correct the issues or simple flaws, like eye surgery and cosmetic surgery. Even the physical issues at birth are altered later for correction then why dysphoric disorder, can’t be corrected. When mismatched body is corrected, it does not make a person physically unfit. And this reassignment actually contributes to their mental health and fitness in the long run(Should Transgender Persons Serve? | U.S. Naval Institute). Normally if service member gets injured in combat or accident, they are provided medical treatment and areb given time for recovery. Health care issues like blood pressure, cholesterol, concussions, and mental health issues are common in general.

Similarly, Gender dysphoria is no different. Medical issues related to Gender dysphoria include similar treatments, they are just used in a different way, i.e., counseling, grooming, lifestyle, and hormone levels. Depending on the situation Trans members can serve their deployment and can still transition during other deployments. About the cost; around $2.4 a million to $4.8 million is required for complete reassignment, which is .14% of the total annual military budget. Knee replacement requires around 12 weeks to recover, but Tran’s surgery requires eight weeks. So why this can’t be treated as a normal procedure. Tran’s medical allowance is like other, soldier’s medical allowance. They can’t be segregated on basis of medical need. They should be allowed to deal with their medical issues like other soldiers. Many soldiers don’t disclose their identity but they keep serving silently for years due to fear of losing a career. The point is, they already are different so why they can’t be allowed to transition into their true selves and still be part of military (Hill et al.).

All the defense in favor of Trans to join the military can be understood, and at humanitarian level one can agree to it, but we need to dig deeper into the matter. Decisions should not be made on the basis of emotions but by logic. We can just agree to this without considering other aspects of gender dysphoria. Many questions should be considered in other dimension. Is gender dysphoria actually curable through gender reassignment? Facts should be considered, especially when huge cost, military readiness and performance is at stake. Transgenders, already dealing with pressure, will they be able to manage more pressure during deployments?

Suicide is already increasing between military personnel due to the nature of the job, they do. Stress and depression get to them, which is a huge problem. From the economical aspect, if we keep things practical, huge military budget is spent on training soldiers, but when they become unfit, they endanger the force. Not only they adds to the cost, but if they commit suicide it’s not just loss of precious life, but it is losing investment put on a defense. So is it wise to put week people who are already prone to distress, to the military? Actual figures support the fact that Tran’s suicide rate is 6.7% higher than the other genders in the US(Suicide Rates: An Overview).

It’s not only because of the social pressure but also due to depression; they feel after reassignment but also because gender dysphoria remains there. So after reassignment operation. Person’s gender is not changed completely because genders can’t be altered completely. Researches support this fact. This delusional concept is supported by the media, but in reality, gender alteration is not possible. Trans attempt suicide is 41% more than then cisgender Americans. They are not resilient and strong enough to handle harsh combat as a non-trans person(“Why Transgender People Experience More Mental Health Issues). Many reassignments cause issues like reduced strength and confidence. Due to hormone therapy, many emotional and mood changes occur in Transgender. Risk of psychiatric hospitalization increases up to 2.8 times. Also, a physical persona can change their reproductive systems that is the basis on gender difference, apart from this difference all others are stereotypes that are self-created(Anderson).

Sexual Organizations begins with DNA when a child is in the womb; all the sex difference infest themselves at the molecular level in all organs. So simply a cross-hormone therapy can change the gender, in fact, they can stunt and damage the outward expressions and our biological reproductive organizations. But the complete transition is not possible it’s just a glamorous myth. This just creates instability the person. Some alternative cure need be found for gender dysphoria.

So these Trans individuals who desperately want to serve their military are respected for their emotions. But at a humanitarian level, it would not be suitable to put them under such harsh battlefield conditions, especially knowingly the situations that they are dealing with. Also military can’t keep unfit in the military as it will affect the performance of operations. Also knowing the cost of maintenance, it will be unwise to let Trans join the military.

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Transgender And US Military. (2019, Aug 07). Retrieved December 3, 2022 , from

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