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Transgender Mandates Delayed but Still on Auto-Pilot

CMR Releases New Special Report Exposing Absurdities in
Transgender Implementation Plans

Late on Friday, June 30, Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced a six-month delay in implementation of an Obama Administration mandate to recruit transgenders into the military.  One year ago, Mattis’ predecessor Ashton Carter issued a unilateral directive ordering the services to begin recruiting transgenders no later than July 1, 2017.  The late-hour reprieve was welcome, but the underlying problem remains unresolved.

Obama-era directives are still scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2018.  Under these mandates, the armed forces must assume the risks of retaining and recruiting a cohort of persons who are suffering from gender dysphoria ˗ a difficult condition involving confusion about gender identity.  Gender dysphoria and its treatments are among several psychological conditions that negatively affect personal deployability and mission readiness.

Secretary Mattis had every right (and responsibility) to temporarily suspend implementation of former Defense Secretary Carter’s mandates.  Better yet, Secretary Mattis could have honored requests from the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps to delay implementation for two years, to resolve concerns about costs and negative consequences.  Secretary Mattis also has full power to revoke administrative transgender mandates all at once.

Instead, Secretary Mattis allowed Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert O. Work, an Obama holdover, to broker a deal that whittled the services’ requested two-year delay down to only six months.

Americans have a right to know why the services asked for a two year delay.  With so much at stake, this is no time to maintain secrecy while lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activists continue to influence and enjoy officially-recognized access to Pentagon policy-makers on an exclusive basis.

New CMR Special Report - Fighting PC Fiction With Facts

Many members of Congress, the media, and the public have no idea how extreme Obama-era transgender mandates really are.  Some have been persuaded that the Defense Department really studied costs and consequences objectively.  On the contrary, Pentagon claims and cost predictions are deeply flawed.  Almost all rely on LGBT sources, including reports from like-minded consultants and mostly-civilian academics at RAND.

The Center for Military Readiness has, for the first time, aimed a bright spotlight on pervasive groupthink and delusional ideology that permeates actual Pentagon plans for a New Gender Order in our military.

The newly-released CMR Special Report exposes absurd and sometimes bizarre plans incorporated in Obama Administration directives:

Department of Defense & Military Services Should Revoke Problematic
Transgender Policy Directives and Instructions

Executive Summary

The 27-page CMR Special Report reveals, analyzes, and provides links to fifteen Defense Department and military service directives that are based on politically-correct beliefs that defy science and common sense.  These include the notion that gender “assigned” at birth can be changed, and the irrational belief that regardless of unchanging human DNA, revisions in bureaucratic “gender markers” really can transform a man into a woman or a woman into a man.

Secretary Mattis and all military leaders should personally review and revoke each one of these Department of Defense and military service directives, instructions, memos, handbooks, roadmaps, toolkits, and mandatory training briefings.  These mandates cannot be retained or expanded without unneeded personnel turbulence, constantly-rising medical costs that detract from more pressing needs, and weakened mission readiness when individuals are absent or non-deployable for long periods of time.

The CMR Special Report exposes eye-opening DoD and military service policies that are based on delusions about gender identity.  Commanders, doctors, and nurses are expected to comply with all implementation orders without question or dissent, regardless of personal convictions or concerns about medical ethics.

Persons experiencing gender dysphoria inspire concern, but it doesn’t help to offer politicized medical treatments overseen by distant “experts” promoting ideology, not the best interests of patients. A long-term study at Johns Hopkins University found that “sex-reassignment” surgeries did not improve psycho-sexual adjustments.

The CMR Special Report and several others have analyzed high costs, medical realities, moral dilemmas, and negative impacts on morale, deployability and readiness.  This substantial body of independent information clearly discredits claims that the Pentagon can justify high costs and negative impacts on morale, deployability and mission readiness.

Shouldn’t Congress have a Say?

On June 28, Rep. Vicki Hartzler (R-MO) took the lead in sparking a spirited debate about transgender mandates for the military.  (Congresswoman Hartzler and several colleagues can be seen making solid points on this video, starting at the 5:05:25 mark.)

Congresswoman Hartzler’s concerns are justified, since problematic transgender mandates will negatively affect far more people than the unfortunate few who suffer from gender dysphoria.  Official implementation plans suggest many problems to come, for example:

  • Open-ended costs for lifetime hormone treatments and sometimes irreversible surgeries.  (Transgender advocates demand special status for recruits seeking lifetime medical benefits despite deployability problems.  They also demand coverage for veterans in an already over-loaded system, and for family dependents, including minor children);
  • Infringements on personal privacy in conditions of forced intimacy;
  • Demoralizing pressures on military commanders, doctors, and nurses to approve, participate in, or perform procedures that violate medical ethics or sincerely-held personal or religious convictions;
  • Negative impacts on morale and cohesion when side effects from transgender treatments and surgeries negatively affect combat deployability and readiness;
  • Establishment of a network of remote “Service Central Coordination Cells” (SCCCs) allowing LGBT consultants to politicize the Military Health System;
  • Erosion of trust in military leaders who endorse medical delusions; and
  • Diversion of scarce time and resources in pursuit of politically-correct social agendas that are not consistent with sound priorities in the military.

In a statement following the June 30 delay announcement, Congresswoman Hartzler thanked Secretary Mattis and encouraged him to move forward with full repeal.  If lawmakers consider the many absurdities incorporated in these DoD directives and instructions, support for revoking the entire social experiment surely will grow.

A recent Rasmussen Poll showed that only 23% of 1,000 likely voters favored transgender mandates, and 31% were opposed.  (38% expected no impact.)  The same survey found that nearly half of respondents (48%) favored a delay in implementation of transgender policies.

What’s Next?

AP reported that in his June 30 memo delaying implementation, Secretary Mattis said he believes the department must measure "each policy decision against one standard" — whether it affects the ability of the military to defend the nation.

Mattis said the review by the services, led by the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness, must be completed by December 1.  He noted that his approval of a delay "does not presuppose the outcome of the review."  Mattis added that the additional time will ensure he has "the benefit of the views of the military leadership and of the senior civilian officials who are now arriving in the department."

The emphasized statements sound promising, but the six-month delay option, crafted by Obama holdover Deputy Secretary Bob Work, does not solve the problem.

  • All transgender mandates remain in place, ready for auto-pilot extension to new recruits, during the Christmas/New Year season, when no one is looking.  (This is not the first time that former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and his then-Deputy Bob Work have pulled the same type of maneuver to evade congressional oversight or action.)
  • The statement effectively excludes Congress – and Americans they represent -- from the decision-making process.  The U. S. Constitution (Article I, Title 8) assigns military policy-making power to elected lawmakers in Congress, not holdover bureaucrats guarding policies of the previous administration. 
  • USA Today reported that Bob Work deliberately did not ask the service chiefs for assessments of how things have gone since last year.  His "narrowly-focused" inquiry did not ask about current problems, so they had no opportunity to tell.  Secretary Mattis' incurious memo, unfortunately, also failed to ask relevant questions about the consequences of transgender policies since 2016.
  • Nor did Secretary Mattis recognize the obvious contradictions between his own stated values and those of the previous administration.  In 2015, uniformed personnel suffering from gender dysphoria were recognized as a "protected class" entitled to Military Equal Opportunity (MEO) civil rights status.  Assigning special civil rights status to transgenders virtually guarantees that dependents and the VA system soon will be involved, with severe consequences for vulnerable children and untold costs for the overburdened VA.
  • The situation is even worse because many Obama holdovers and Pentagon “Diversity” institutions continue to consult with LGBT activists on ways to impose their extreme social agendas.  (These closed-door activities are acknowledged in official documents.)
  • Secrecy does not serve the public interest.  We have yet to hear reasons why the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps initially asked for a two-year delay; this should be a matter of public record.
  • The public also needs to know why Marine General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently told a Senate committee that there have been some issues identified with recruiting transgender individuals that “some of the service chiefs believe need to be resolved before we move forward."
  • At this point we don’t know whether belated appointments of high-level Defense Department and military service officials ˗ especially to key positions responsible for personnel policy-making positions ˗ will be made in accordance with reality-based, readiness-first principles promised by General Mattis during his confirmation hearing. 

If costly and disruptive transgender policies do not improve military readiness (they don’t) then Secretary Mattis should revoke them without apology or delay.  There is no good time to implement bad policy.

Will President Trump Deliver on His Promise to End PC in the Military?

It was encouraging when President Donald Trump declined to follow former President Obama’s custom of declaring June LGBT Pride month.  Mattis’ Deputy Bob Work nevertheless allowed Anthony Kurta, the Obama holdover Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness, to call for and participate in an inappropriate special-interest “LGBT Pride” event at the Pentagon on June 12.

(Unlike celebrations of Women’s or Black History Month, these occasions serve as lobbying festivals for more special-interest legislation and benefits.)

President Trump and Secretary Mattis have scores of weighty issues on their plates.  This increases the importance of appointing subordinate officials who can be trusted to advocate for sound policies, not social experiments.  Everyone involved should remember that transgender mandates primarily focus on the desires of LGBT minorities, not mission requirements.

In addition to honoring the Army, Air Force, and Marine requests for a two-year delay, and making their concerns public, Secretary Mattis should consider giving permission to personnel at all levels to speak freely on all aspects of the issue, without fear of retaliation or career penalties for questioning Obama-era policies.

Members of Congress should insist on sufficient time to conduct hearings, and invite medical experts (not LGBT activists) to present testimony addressing the transgender issue in terms of biological realities and military readiness, not political correctness.  Witnesses should include child psychologists and pediatricians who are concerned about irreversible hormone or surgical treatments for minor children who almost always outgrow their confusions about sexuality.

Full implementation will require mandatory indoctrination in unscientific theories about gender in all Department of Defense schools and academies.  They will also lead to infringements on personal privacy in conditions of forced intimacy, demoralizing pressures to violate personal values or medical ethics, erosion of trust in leadership, ever-expanding costs, and diversion of scarce time and resources in pursuit of social agendas that are not consistent with core values in the military.

None of these policies will strengthen our military.  Serious national security consequences require more than a temporary pause, it is time to change course.  All mandates were imposed administratively; they can and should be revoked in the same way.

* * * * * *

The Center for Military Readiness is an independent, non-partisan public policy organization, founded in 1993, which reports on and analyzes military/social issues.  More information is available at www.cmrlink.org.  Readers wishing to express support for Congresswoman Hartzler’s efforts should call her and their own member of congress at 202/224-3121.

Additional Articles of Interest:

Posted on Jul 5, 2017 Print this Article