A ban I can get behind

Otago Daily Times

I paid my way through university by training as a Territorial soldier. I was a SIG ( a signalman) which meant that I knew how to use a 77 set as well as how to assemble a M16 blindfolded.

Those years I was in the army is the only time in my life I have experienced disciplined teamwork. They knew what to do to get us all working together and also how to create an environment that made us all get along no matter what our differences were. It didn’t matter if we were male or female, how educated we were or what our religious or political views were; by the end of the six weeks section, we were a team and had learned to work together and to count on each other.

It is from that personal background that I applaud President Trump’s partial ban of Transgender troops in the army and it is not because of who they sleep with or what pieces of their physical body they have mutilated altered that makes me approve of the ban.

US President Donald Trump released an order on Friday night banning most transgender troops from serving in the military except under “limited circumstances”, following up on his calls last year to ban transgender individuals from serving.

The White House said retaining troops with a history or diagnosis of “gender dysphoria” – those who may require substantial medical treatment – “presents considerable risk to military effectiveness and lethality”.

When you are counting on the members of your team to do their job you need to know that they are mentally up to the task as well as physically up to the task. A soldier who needs to take daily hormone tablets is a problem in the field as they will be physically and mentally affected if they are unable to access their medication. The army does not allow people with conditions requiring daily medication to be in the army so transgender soldiers should never have been allowed to join in the first place. A special exception was made for them for politically correct purposes.

[…] “This new policy will enable the military to apply well-established mental and physical health standards – including those regarding the use of medical drugs – equally to all individuals who want to join and fight for the best military force the world has ever seen,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Friday.

When you introduce political correctness to a fighting force you compromise fairness and equality. The rules should have been applied equally right from the start and if they had have been no transgender person would ever have been allowed to train to become a soldier in the first place. Their mental health issues and their need for daily medication should have stopped them at the very first hurdle.

The new policy was promptly assailed by congressional Democrats and civil rights groups. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi tweeted, “No one with the strength & bravery to serve in the U.S. military should be turned away because of who they are. This hateful ban is purpose-built to humiliate our brave transgender members of the military who serve with honor & dignity.”

What a ludicrous argument. Using that flawed logic, strong and brave 80-year-olds should not be turned away simply because they are old. Strong and brave individuals in wheelchairs should not be turned away simply because they are disabled. Pelosi knows full well that her comment that it is because of ‘who they are’ is a lie. The army does not care who they are, they care that they are mentally questionable and physically reliant on daily hormone treatments.

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organisation, accused the Trump administration of pushing “anti-transgender prejudices onto the military”.

“There is simply no way to spin it, the Trump-Pence Administration is going all in on its discriminatory, unconstitutional and despicable ban on transgender troops,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.

Listen to their spin. Is it discriminatory to ban blind soldiers? What about mentally disabled soldiers? Why is it despicable to go back to applying the rules without fear or favour? What is wrong with only taking the best mental and physical specimens for the job?

[…] Under guidelines presented in December, the Pentagon could disqualify potential recruits with gender dysphoria, those with a history of medical treatments associated with gender transition and those who underwent reconstruction. Such recruits could be allowed in if a medical provider certified they’ve been clinically stable in the preferred sex for 18 months and are free of significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas.

Transgender individuals receiving hormone therapy must be stable on their medication for 18 months.

The requirements make it challenging for a transgender recruit to pass. But they mirror conditions laid out by President Barack Obama’s administration in 2016, when the Pentagon initially lifted its ban on transgender troops serving openly in the military.

 – AP

There you have it. Like with the so-called Muslim ban what Trump is doing has been done previously by Obama. This is yet another media beat up of Trump.


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