President Donald Trump took to Twitter last week to tweet out policy changes that transgender individuals would no longer be allowed to serve in the military in “any capacity.” Granted, you can not make policy changes via Twitter, as much as you love the cesspool of the Internet. However, if his intentions were really bent on enacting a transgender ban, he could make it happen.
However, 56 retired generals and flag officers released a statement to the Palm Center advising the president why it would be counterintuitive to improving the performance of the U.S. military.
The statement first established that a ban of such would cause definite lasting harm.
‘This proposed ban, if implemented, would cause significant disruptions, deprive the military of mission-critical talent, and compromise the integrity of transgender troops who would be forced to live a lie, as well as non-transgender peers who would be forced to choose between reporting their comrades or disobeying policy. ‘
They also stated a transgender ban in the military would be worse than the “Don’t Ask, Don’t tell” rule.
‘As a result, the proposed ban would degrade readiness even more than the failed “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.’
The statement went on to address the concern of medical costs and offered an explanation as to why it was an unfounded argument.
‘We respectfully disagree, and consider these claims to be without merit. The RAND Corporation, as well as research in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the financial cost of providing health care to transgender troops would be, at most, $8.4 million per year.’
The statement noted that would only account for “one one-hundredth of one percent” of budgeted health care.
Furthermore, they noted transgender individuals have already been serving for a year openly, and many other nations worldwide allow transgender individuals to serve openly in their militaries with no reported problems.
‘As for ostensible disruptions, transgender troops have been serving honorably and openly for the past year, and have been widely praised by commanders. Eighteen foreign nations, including the UK and Israel, allow transgender troops to serve, and none has reported any detriment to readiness.’
They ended their statement including two remarks made by two former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that support transgender individuals serving in the military. One of those statements read:
‘Thousands of transgender Americans are currently serving in uniform and there is no reason to single out these brave men and women and deny them the medical care that they require.’
If 56 men and women who served in leadership roles in the U.S. military can say they do not stand behind the ban of transgender individuals in the military, this is something Trump should take notice of. Considering he has always expressed his admiration of generals in the military, he should be listening. These people know better than anyone else what the military needs, what hurts them in readiness and morale, and the general feelings of the military as a whole.
You can read the entire statement here.
Featured image by Alex Wong/Getty Images.