PENTAGON ISSUES HANDBOOK ON SEX CHANGE IN THE RANKS
Political correctness remains a central characteristic of the Obama administration’s policies. Take the Pentagon’s new anti-discrimination policy on what a newly-published handbook calls “gender dysphoria,” or “the distress that some transgender individuals experience due to a mismatch between their gender and their sex assigned at birth.”
Under the new policies, military commanders are now responsible for approving or denying sex changes for troops who self-identify as the opposite sex, according to the 72-page handbook, “Transgender Service in the U.S. Military: An Implementation Handbook,” published Sept. 30.
“The commander, informed by the recommendations of the [military medical provider], the [service central coordination cells], and others, as appropriate, will respond to the request to transition gender while ensuring readiness by minimizing impacts to the mission (including deployment, operations, training, exercise schedules, and critical skills availability), as well as to the morale and welfare and good order and discipline of the command,” the handbook states.
The handbook is the result of a Pentagon policy adopted in July that permits troops who self-identify as the opposite sex while serving openly in the ranks. In the past, such cross-dressers were limited by the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of hiding sexual orientation.
The new policy is controversial. Scientists say sex is determined by chromosomes at birth and cannot be altered by hormones or surgery, regardless of whether a person self-identifies as the opposite sex. Critics say the administration is seeking to politicize the armed forces by imposing new sex policies as part of liberal social engineering efforts within the traditionally conservative military.
The report contains “tips for commanders” from the Australian air force diversity handbook that include protecting the privacy of transgender service members and consulting chaplains, behavioral health personnel and medical providers in dealing with transgender people. Also, commanders are to “ensure bullying, harassment, hazing or any other unacceptable behavior is not tolerated.”
In response to concerns about showering, the use of toilets and other shared space, commanders “may employ reasonable accommodations, such as installing shower curtains and placing towel and clothing hooks inside individual shower stalls, to respect the privacy interests of service members,” the handbook states.
Military leaders also are urged to avoid upsetting transgender troops.
“In cases where accommodations are not practicable, you may authorize alternative measures to respect personal privacy, such as adjustments to timing of the use of shower or changing facilities,” the handbook says. “This should be done with the intent of avoiding any stigmatizing impact to any service member.”
Military members are told in the handbook not make assumptions about sexual orientation and to “speak up” when service members “are expressing opinions that may alienate others.”
Proper use of pronouns like “he” or “she,” “him” or “her,” in conversations is now required. “You should be sensitive to the use of pronouns when addressing others,” the handbook says. “This will vary by individual and unit. If there is ever any question about pronoun usage, do not hesitate to ask the service member how they wish to be addressed.”
Social transition for transgender people in the military can also involve the unusual practice of identifying a service member by male or female at different times of the day.
“Social transition, in the military context, will generally encompass living in the preferred gender after duty hours,” the handbook stated. “You may encounter a situation where you know a service member by one name during duty hours and another after duty hours; this all depends on the individual’s transition.”
Medical treatment can include behavioral health care, the use of hormones that may change physical appearance, and surgery.
Retired Army officer Robert Maginnis, a critic of the new policy, said the handbook undermines the readiness of the military and should anger Americans over the misuse of scarce military resources on politically correct policies. Military medicine under President Obama is now about meeting individual desires, not contributing to combat readiness, he said.
“This policy forces the military to deflect valuable resources better spent on improving the readiness of the force to focus on the mental and emotional well-being of anyone who wishes to serve,” Mr. Maginnis said. “This is a very dangerous path to pursue for the armed forces and America.
Military commanders are responsible for approving or denying sex changes for troops who self-identify as the opposite sex, according to the 72-page handbook, “Transgender Service in the U.S. Military: An Implementation Handbook,” published Sept. 30.