The other day I was at work going through my emails, dreading what was to come on the day. Maintenance, dealing with an over bearing boss, micromanagement, dealing with non-rates complaining about their job (which is cake compared to the Marines), the list goes on and on. And then I saw an email sent with high importance from my Officer in Charge. When the big dog sends out an email, I typically think, “This is probably important, lets take a gander here.” But when he sends something out with a designation that says, “High Importance” and there’s the “!” symbol next to the subject I think, “Oh shit something bad has happened.”
I would not go as far to say something bad happened but I would say I highly disagree with the subject of the email. The Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) was proud to announce that the military will now start allowing transgender members into the military (which includes the Coast Guard even though we are in the Department of Homeland Security; we’re still the fifth branch of the military you fucks). That, I do not have a problem with per say. In my book you must have completely transitioned prior to wanting to enlist or getting your commission. That I am on board with. Its part two of the email I will flat out say I wholeheartedly disagree with.
The military, your tax dollars, are now also authorized to fund sex reassignment surgery. Yes, you read that correctly. The military is going to pay for someone’s sex change should the member need one. Now that’s where things get hinkey for me. A medical officer needs to deem if sex reassignment surgery is necessary for the member before the military will pay for it. Well SECDEF, how are we going to go about that?
That is where things go absolutely sideways for me. What does it mean when the guidance says a medical officer needs to deem it necessary? Is it because the member is depressed? Is it because the member has other mental health issues that could potentially lead to one’s suicide? Quite possibly, and to me that is a horrifically sad thing that people are faced with. Like I said earlier I have absolutely no problem with a transgender person and them wanting to transition, but it needs to be done with their own money, and prior to serving. The military should not be funding someone’s secret agenda to transition.
My largest issue with the whole topic is, if I am depressed for example, I simply can not go to medical and say, “I’ve been having thoughts of killing myself” and then expect the help I rightfully deserve. I would have to be tactile with my approach to having a mental health issue in the military because chances are I would eventually be discharged due to “hardship.” Hardship?! I mean hell, maybe I am depressed because I just went through a bitter divorce, and all I want to do is see a psychologist for 10 or so sessions to get back up on my feet. But no, not how the military operates. And now someone who has been battling depression because of gender identity issues not only gets to have their transition surgery paid for, (which mind you runs anywhere from 7,000 to 140,500 dollars) they get retained. That right there really upsets me.
I got those numbers from Google. It is such a broad range because some figures do not include fees for the operating room, anesthesia, hospital stays, etc. Anyways.
I could be a massively high performer, incredible supervisor, and great subordinate, but because I was, say an undiagnosed bipolar member, I’d go to a mental health facility, after being horrifically embarrassed by the Coast Guard’s healthcare system, become “fixed” and then given the boot. I’d get the boot due to unsuitability, or like I said earlier, a hardship. The military is so afraid to approach mental health issues, but is not afraid at all to approach the issues of gender identity (which in it of itself can create massive mental health issues) and sex reassignment.
What the message really should say is the military will not discharge someone for wanting to transition if they’re already serving, and will not bar those who have undergone sex reassignment surgery from serving. It should also say that those who are seeking sex reassignment surgery need a medical officer’s approval prior to the surgery; however, will need to be charged leave for the surgery, and will also have to fund it themselves. Tax dollars should not be going towards it. I can think of other things 140,000 dollars could go to like oh I don’t know… Body armor?? That is a novel thought.
I fear that people will join the military simply to have their gender reassignment paid by the taxpayers, and then get out. This happens currently at an alarming rate with people taking advantage of the educational perks that the military offers. I see no difference here with those seeking sex reassignment surgery.
On the other hand, if we are going to be paying for sex reassignment surgery, the military really needs to take a hard look at itself in the mirror and say, “We are discriminating against mental health members and need to change our policies to retain them as well.” If the miliary went ahead and said that, if the SECDEF finally had the balls to say, “We don’t like ‘broken’ members but we are going to change that” maybe, just maybe I’d be “ok” with paying for sex reassignment. But at the end of the day, that is not going to happen.
I will close with this. The military should not be a social experiment. I am appalled at what the SECDEF has done here, and I am appauled at POTUS for allowing it, and I am appauled at Congress for allowing this. The military should discriminate. The military should be highly selective towards members. The military should be breeding warriors that have no emotion, not catering to the pressures of what is “right” in 2016. America is supposed to be the most feared nation on this Earth, and I will tell you what, we are falling way, way too short of that. I think countries are laughing at us, pointing fingers at us, and ultimately thinking, “Let’s get’em.” Not a feeling I want to as an American.