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Pentagon Officially Ends Trans Military Ban


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That is good news.  Hopefully we will also see, at some point,  the changes to Trans Care at the VA that President Biden's Administration is pushing for.

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Charlize

We are fortunately under a new administration.  Hopefully our rights will get legal protection a=nd find the backup we need from the courts so the next nutcase doesn't cause all that pain again.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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Chiefsrule58

I am glade that the ban is finally over once again, I do feel that there is still long way to go removing the ban was just the first step it will take understanding and time before people are really accepting.  Medical and mental health providers will also need work and training  it is difficult to get care as a cis gender person in the military they typically don't take you seriously and care only for the overall medical readiness numbers. Believe me I get that the mission always comes first they just seem to forget that you need people inorder to complete it. Of course I only have my own experiences to go off of.

 

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MelanieTamara

I am going to be the odd jerk here and state that actually, I am for a temporary ban on Transgendered Male to Female service members on a Hormone Replacement Therapy from serving in COMBAT roles. The reason is safety.

 

The way the military works is that you first train and qualify, and then you sit around waiting for deployment. The wait could easily be 6 to 9 months. In that time, if on HRT, one's body changes. Muscle mass decreases, etc. The changes to personal readiness could result in a person becoming unqualified. This is a danger to the unit and the transgendered soldier (notice the order of precedence).

 

We need real studies with a significant sample size to ensure the safety and the ability to accomplish missions. We just don't know enough. I mean really, look at WPATH. It is quite generic and lacks a significant amount of specifics.

 

There are so many career fields the military offers, other than combat, in which transgendered individuals can flourish. 

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Chiefsrule58

MelanieTamara,

 

    You most certainly have a right to your opinion, every branch works differently that's for sure. The Navy for instance has readiness requirements that include physical fitness test a couple of times a year.  If you don't pass it will effect your career. They used to do an administrative separation however they changed it to not allow reenlistment at the end of contract.

I don't know about the sitting around time your talking about other than waiting on travel when going places or other work centers to finish something so you can do your part. During my 24 years the units I was in constantly trained and were hardly ever home.  At one point I did 4 deployments in a 5 year period. The last duty I did was supposed to be shore duty however I was on training detachments 10 out of 12 months. 

  I spent the last few years of my career on HRT and had no issues, though I was never able to transition, lack of support from the chain of command (who I was out to) and the amount of deployments, detachments and workups I was apart of limited my opportunity. When I shifted to shore duty with the intention of transition the ban came out. That created major roadblocks and gave medical and the new Chain of command incentives to discriminate. The chain of command adjusted my duty assignment not based on performance (I have documented records of superior performance) it was based on the fact they knew I was Trans and said they no longer had confidence in my ability to lead Sailors. That statement was what I was told at my first Evaluation debriefing at least it was followed by I was surprised at how well your work center performed because he didn't think I was capable.  Medical wanted to force me to retire and refused to get me any referrals nor would they accept medical documentation from outside the military which at the time was supposed to be forwarded to BUMED. It was only after I stopped trying to transition that I got increased leadership roles.  I went from being responsible for around 20 Sailors to having 95 Sailors to lead.

   To me It is very dangerous to allow ignorance and intolerance to drive decisions. I know that there are many arguments against transgender service most have been used before while others can be misleading.  Sailors most definitely bring medication with them on deployment.  Also there are some medical conditions that do disqualify people from entry but don't always result in a sailor being separated if the develop the condition again I am strictly speaking from a Navy perspective. 

    Personally I don't trust studies on there own because they can be and are manipulated, there are a lot of factors involved. There are and have been many transgender service members who have deployed. Service should be about individual merits, and not about anything else including being transgender. I do believe that each service needs to manage things to best suit their needs. However, there also has to be high level oversight.   The ban had a very negative effect on my life.  The added stress of not knowing if I had a job tomorrow, to feeling alienated impacted my family. I know several other transgender service members it effected as well. Ultimately I ended my career early because I had to choose between being me and serving.  In the past when faced with that choice I chose to serve because I still had hope that I could do both.  After the ban and all the negativity I had to choose me otherwise I would still be on active duty.

   One of the other transgender service members I personally know got out as well because it's tough when people think it's okay to voice there negative opinions against transgender people openly and make your life more difficult. When I personally pushed back against it I was told that I was taking things to personal and to sit down and be quiet.  Let's just say I am not the quiet type when people are being mistreated.  Just to be clear about where my perspective comes from. I worked as an Aviation Ordnancman and was O level so I worked in FA18 squadrons. The squadrons I was with deployed onboard aircraft carriers and I worked on the flight deck as part of a team loading and unloading ordnance on aircraft among other things. 

    You are entirely entitled to your opinion I only wanted to share this old Salty Sailors personal perspective.

 

HAPPY EASTER and have a great day.

 

Jamie 

 

 

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RachelCJ

 

From my seat any ban on any group of people should never be imposed for any reason.  One of my frustrations serving is seeing soldiers with two replaced knees, reconstructed shoulder, bad hip, torn ankles, and a back so bad it surprises most doctors they can hold up their own weight that are not just kept in the service, but in “combat roles”.  Then the attitude shifts to transgender service members who are in good shape, physically fit, no major medical issues, but told they are not able to fight.  The focus needs to be a medical issue specifically.  If shifting folks out of a “combat role”, it needs to be for a clear medical reason, not just because they are transgender. 

 

Also, the concept of “combat roles” really needs to go away.  Female Soldiers found out the hard way that not being allowed in combat branches doesn’t mean they don’t see combat.  In many cases support MOSs were responsible for the convoys bringing supplies from ports to bases in Iraq.  Those convoys were routinely attacked, but there was often little to no combat units assigned to protect them as they were heavily armed vehicles themselves.  After a while the Army recognized that these women were routinely in combat and acted as any of their male peers would expected to act and as such there should be no reason to ban women from those jobs.  This again needs to be approached from a medical field when it comes to bans, and a clear medical reason for a person to be prohibited from any role, with an understanding that there are minimum requirements for all of us with respect to basic duties as a Soldier.

 

Of course, I do agree that different MOSs should have different physical requirements with respects to physical fitness, but it is focused on the expectation of that MOS rather than being combat related.  Infantry have different physical requirements than Intelligence by the nature of their jobs.  This sounds like a focus on combat, which in many cases correct, but it is a focus on the job itself.  Certain jobs in artillery require little physical capability in comparison to a heavy vehicle mechanic.  Jobs can get blurred pretty easily and the focus is can the person physically do the job, not what gender are they.

 

Honestly, the release of the regulation is a huge relief for me who is still serving, definitely not in a “combat role”.  What made it all the better is that the regulation was pushed out for a pre-read on Transgender Day of Visibility.  It wasn’t lost on me that the DoD made it clear that I’m visible on the day we celebrate visibility. 

 

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Chiefsrule58

RachelCJ,

    Thank you for your service. I am glade to hear that they are trying to do things differently this time. I am also happy that you and others can serve openly. I never really thought about it that way.  The Navy I came up in going to medical for anything other than required exams etc was highly discouraged though things did start to change over the last few years.  Certainly many medical conditions get ignored once your enlisted. I have know plenty of Sailors with some of the issues you described. The Navy has a few separate medical requirements already though not many and most are for specific types of duty assignments and not rating specfic for example a flight deck physical, or a sea duty screening. Best of luck moving forward and it is great that your finally visible.

 

Jamie

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Marcie Jensen

First, thank you all for your service and sacrifice.  That love of country and its ideals stands paramount in my opinion, regardless of everything else. I hope I don't offend anyone here, and know that I respect everyone's views on this subject.

 

Frankly, I have some really mixed opinions on this based on my 24 years of service, including multiple combat tours. To provide some background, I began as a parachute infantryman and managed to go through the Ft. Benning School for boys (I was male back in 1980, and yes I am that old), followed by jump school and Ranger school; the best diet plan in the world, BTW. Then I went into the oxymoron of oxymorons--Military Intelligence and spent the remainder of my career there. In MI, I met a number of female soldiers that I would rather have gone into combat with than a number of males I had served with. These women were smarter, knew their jobs better and were more physically fit; all factors going to war.

 

That said, a couple of things need to be noted. First, transpeople on HRT do lose muscle mass and need to train harder to maintain that peak of efficiency necessary for combat. Additionally, the opposite is true for transmen who are on testosterone. They develop greater muscle mass.  Then there is the question of physical size. Generally speaking, women are physically smaller than men and this does make a difference when carrying all the gear a modern soldier must have nowadays. For example, at the time of the first Gulf War I was married to a fellow soldier in the same brigade. When we deployed, and she was not unique, her TA-50 and associated additional gear (civilian clothing, etc., as she was a counterintelligence agent) weighed more than she did. Bluntly, this can be a real problem in combat.  In fairness, one of my own male troops had the same problem.  He was about 5'4" and may have weighed 120 pounds soaking wet. Third, are PT standards. When we returned, she, my father-in-law at the time and I all took the APFT within a week of each other. I was 8 years older than my former wife, my father-in-law was 15 year my senior. I actually had significantly better raw scores in all 3 events--push ups, sit ups and 2 mile run--but when the scores were adjusted for age and gender, and converted to percentiles, my score was lowest, my father-in-law was next (and he did better in terms of raw numbers), and my former wife scored highest after conversion.  So there can be no doubt, she was in great shape back then. The issue here is that the standards for physical fitness were skewed due to the conversion methodology.

 

The solution is to maintain the same standards for everyone in combat arms, regardless of age and gender. This is done by many police departments and fire departments in the US, and it seems to work. So, here is the dilemma--which soldier will be more effective in combat: the 5'2" 120 pound woman in remarkable shape or the 5'10" 180 man in average shape?  And where does the trans soldier fit into the mix? Honestly, there is no good answer to this and it's a question for politicians to decide based on the input of commanders and senior enlisted personnel. The bottom line here is that in all military branches, certain rights are given up in order to improve the discipline and combat effectiveness of the unit. And, as each branch has different requirements of its personnel, the. standards will differ from branch to branch and MOS to MOS.

 

Is this a question of trans rights? Absolutely! Are there women who do better in combat than men? Yes, there are; and vice versa. Should trans personnel and women be allowed in combat MOS's? Here's where I have the mixed opinion. While my heart is totally behind women and trans personnel in combat roles, my head tells me that this is an issue that that requires unbiassed, in depth study before any policy is adopted.  While the role of women in combat has proven to be successful, the supply of Lyudmila Mikhailovna Pavlichenkos is limited and frankly, is the exception rather than the rule.

 

Keep in mind that I am addressing ground combat only, as I have no experience with either naval or air combat and don't feel qualified to comment on them.

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MelanieTamara
1 hour ago, Marcie Jensen said:

Lyudmila Mikhailovna Pavlichenkos

 

The Battle of Sevastopol is a great movie that chronicles the story of Lyudmila.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_3t1PxBdB8

 

 

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Chiefsrule58

Marcie,

    Thankyou for your service and perspective, very informative.   I agree with what you are saying I just feel that a blanket way of doing things is a bad idea and at the end of the day each branch, unit, MOS/Rating has to determine their own requirements. To me gender should not be a consideration it should always come down to individual merits and ability to do the job. 

    I am optimistic about the positive changes made, when I first joined women had not been allowed on ships and my first deployment on the USS Kitty Hawk was its first ever integrated deployment. Then they changed the rules on sexuality and I remember the pushback that received. I also remember the positive it effects the policy change had on many Sailors it took time but naysayers moved on. Many people were adamant about women not serving on Submarines and now that too has changed. I believe it will be the same with transgender people openly serving, overtime  things will continue to get better. 

 

Jamie

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Marcie Jensen

Jamie,

 

 Thank you for yours, as well. I too, am optimistic about the positive changes and would like to see more made. Especially allowing transgender people to openly serve.

 

I completely agree about about each branch, unit, MOS/Rating determining their won requirements and that gender should not be a consideration.

 

Best,

Marcie

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2 hours ago, Marcie Jensen said:

I completely agree about about each branch, unit, MOS/Rating determining their won requirements and that gender should not be a consideration

Seems sensible.

A lot has changed over the years.  When I went in (1970) the only women we saw were in medical roles.  Trans gender wasn't even a thing that I knew about.

Women are certainly able to fill a lot of roles - think of senator Duckworth flying choppers.

I have a daughter who enlisted in the Air Force as an "Airman", and left eventually as a Captain.  Yes, she was in a medical role, but completely necessary.

 

 

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