Military Preps For Transgender Recruitment Initiative

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U.S. military delays recruited of transgender into military services and argues that they require more time to craft policies.

When President Obama had lifted the ban imposed on transgender individuals from serving in military services, he implemented a one-year transition period for the government to prepare new protocols that would need to replace the existing ones.

Per the plan, transgendered individuals were supposed to be recruited by the beginning of July, however, Defense Secretary James Mattis announced that they would be delaying it for another six months as they continue to prepare.

Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Gen. Paul Selva expressed that they will be a delay in the recruitment of transgender into military service, as there exists scientific disagreement on as to whether the protocol currently in place help can those with “gender dysphoria.” He stated that he was in favor of recruiting “every every qualified person who can meet the physical standards to serve in our uniformed service.”

Gen. Selva further clarified , “I am an advocate of every qualified person who can meet the physical standards to serve in our uniformed services to be able to do so.”

“Our decision to delay the accessions of transgender individuals into the services was largely based on a disagreement on the science of how mental health care and hormone therapy for transgender individuals would help solve the medical issues that are associated with gender dysphoria,” he added.

LGBT groups within the country expressed their discontent with yet another delay.

Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center argued “The chiefs are misrepresenting the science about transgender troops in a disingenuous way that reflects the old Pentagon tactic of distorting the data about gays and lesbians under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

“There is no scientific dispute. Rather, there is a global medical consensus, including the American Medical Association and the Rand Corporation, that transition-related care is reliable, safe and effective.”

Selva expressed that there is still a lot of issues that the military needs to consider and come up with a plan to handle. He mentioned that since this change would make a huge impact on most of the protocols that are in place, they would need “additional time to assess so that they can make their necessary changes to infrastructure.” He argued that the additional time would give them more time to come up with effective policies on handling training and fitness standards for the new transgender recruits.

“There are a host of other issues that involve the potential physical standards, and the service chiefs asked for additional time to assess so that they can make their necessary changes to infrastructure, as well as training curriculum for our basic trainees who come in in transgender status,” Selva said, “particularly those who have not undergone gender reassignment surgery and while they present as their target gender are physiologically still in their birth gender.”