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Top US general promises no changes in military transgender policy for now
By LUIS MARTINEZ
Jul 27, 2017, 12:30 PM ET
Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has issued guidance to military commanders stressing that there will be no change in military policy toward transgender service members until Defense Secretary Jim Mattis receives further direction from the White House.
President Trump announced via Twitter on Wednesday what appeared to be a reinstatement of the military's ban on transgender service members.
"I know there are questions about yesterday’s announcement on the transgender policy by the president," Dunford said in a written message to military commanders, according to a copy obtained by ABC News.
"There will be no modifications to the current policy until the president's direction has been received by the secretary of defense and the secretary has issued implementation guidance," continued Dunford, the nation's top military commander.
"In the meantime, we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect," he said. "As importantly, given the current fight and the challenges we face, we will all remain focused on accomplishing our assigned missions."
"There will be no modifications to the current policy until the President's direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidance," Dunford said in the message, first reported by Reuters.
originally posted by: testingtesting
Does anyone have any idea how many Trans folk are currently serving?.
originally posted by: whywhynot
The tweet is not official direction but as your source article reports the Joint Chiefs are naturally awaiting the proper directive thru the chain of command.
originally posted by: IgnoranceIsntBlisss
a reply to: RomeByFire
It aint just about the costs, its about it can take them YEARS to fully recover from the surgeries and respective treatments and therapies. So why the F are they doing it when they're supposed to be active duty? MILSPEC humans the moment they get the knife they never are again when you look at all the other stuff they reject people for.
It's some kind of ironic that ye supposed champions of the non-binary trans movement spin this whole thing as if its just a plain black & white (yes BINARY) issue where all the sense is in favor of trans you your team and everyone else are just bigoted scumbags.
ye supposed champions of the non-binary trans movement spin this whole thing
originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: RomeByFire
I like this statistic.
Transgender people are twice as likely as the general population to serve in the military
Here's What it's Like To Transition While A Soldier
Jerry is a transgender man serving on active duty in the Navy. He pointed out that, first, the military isn't exactly in the business of paying for extensive surgery. "Military policy is to at least cover pharmaceutical and mental healthcare. Anything else requires serious motivation and luck ... I paid for my top surgery alone, when there are thousands of guys posting [on Reddit] every day how they didn't pay a dime for their surgery, and they're, like, baristas. (Nothing against baristas, it's just insane that I've gotten PTSD as a souvenir from overseas deployments and can't get something that someone who goes home every night smelling like delicious coffee and pastries can get with a fraction of the effort.)"
↓ Continue Reading Below
He points out that if a soldier does transition while on active duty, they're bound by very strict rules as to when they can do it: "Commanders are less likely to approve you getting surgery if you have to deploy -- which makes sense, and should be the case."
Transitioning can have a significant impact on a soldier's physical capabilities. Harriet transitioned while serving in the National Guard, and she definitely noticed a difference: "When I started hormones, my strength and speed both changed considerably! Hormones affect everyone differently to a degree, but higher testosterone absolutely makes it easier to build and maintain muscle, and unless I wanted to live and sleep in a gym, I simply wasn't going to maintain the kind of fitness levels I had as a 'guy.'" Harriet shared her Army Physical Fitness Test Scorecard. Overall, her run time for two miles has increased by about six minutes, and she did significantly fewer push-ups and sit-ups, although her overall scores are "respectable, but nothing spectacular."
But the changes brought on by transition cut both ways. Jerry, our active-duty Navy trans man, said, "Exercising has gotten loads easier! I rarely train for the running part of the physical fitness test now, and I pass just fine. In the past, if I didn't run every day, my scores would be lower than average. I can lift more, I can run faster, push-ups are a breeze. I'm training for a badge run competition called the 1,000 Lbs Club: bench, squat, deadlift must equal 1,000 pounds. Females have the 600 Lbs Club. Without any serious training, I've already matched the 600-pound standard. One downside, however, is the weight gain. I've easily gained 27 pounds since starting [testosterone]. Can't lose it -- I've tried!"
The most important fact to note about soldiers transitioning while on active duty is that it's incredibly rare. This RAND study estimates between 25 and 130 surgeries per year among active-duty personnel. Between 10 and 130 soldiers per year could experience "reduced deployability." There are currently more than 50,000 active-duty soldiers who are undeployable. The vast majority of these soldiers have short-term injuries, like torn ACLs from a basketball game gone bad. If you're worried about military readiness, pick-up football games are probably a more pressing threat than transgender people.
originally posted by: IgnoranceIsntBlisss
a reply to: Krazysh0t
Since there's only about 5,000 trans inhe military, does that mean all the drama in this nation the past year has been over 2,500 people???
But about one-fifth of the transgender population in the US are veterans of the military — meaning that transgender people serve in the military at approximately twice the rate of the general population, according to a 2014 report by researchers at the UCLA School of Law.
originally posted by: Jonjonj
It's not really a surprise that high-ranking military sources say there has been no change in policy...in response to a tweet.