Equality Is Not Our Military’s Foremost Concern — Effectiveness Is


U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) last week tweeted out opposition to the ban on transgendered persons serving in the military.

She said, “Banning transgender people from serving in our military violates the fundamental value at the heart of our country: equality. This cannot be our America.”

Harris and others who want to see the ban lifted believe that the military should be inclusive.

I don’t want the military to become inclusive. It is effective because it is exclusive.

When I enlisted in the Army (I served in the Army National Guard from 1989 to 1997), I had to go down to the MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) facility that was then in West Des Moines where you would undergo a physical (among other things — I don’t quite remember because it was long enough ago). I also had to pass an ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) test.

Today the basic requirements are:

  • You have to be a U.S. citizen or green card holder.
  • Be in good health.
  • Be between 17 to 40 years old (varies with each branch of the service).
  • Have a High School Diploma or GED.
  • Pass the ASVAB test.
  • If you want to be an officer, you also have to be a college graduate.

Some things can disqualify you as well: a criminal background, certain moral transgressions, mental health issues, and medical conditions.

When I enlisted, I wanted to be an MP (military police), and I learned that I couldn’t because I wasn’t tall enough (it may have changed, but at the time the requirement was 5’8″ — I was 5’7″). Did I have a right to be an MP? Of course not. I became a combat medic instead.

My maternal grandfather was rejected for service during World War II because he had flat feet. They tried to draft my paternal grandfather for service in World War II, but let that go when he finally convinced the powers that be he was deaf.

My son wanted for years to join the Army and specifically be a part of a special operations unit. He later changed his mind, but when he was diagnosed with cancer shortly before his 14th birthday and then later suffered a skull fracture he would have been disqualified.

If I wanted to reenlist, I wouldn’t be able to because of my age (I possibly could get a waiver for prior service, but that isn’t guaranteed), and, I hate to say, at the moment wouldn’t pass the BMI requirements.

After all of that, you still have to make it through Basic Training, Advanced Individual Training/Tech School, and meet all of the annual requirements to stay in (weapons qualifications, health requirements, physical training tests, etc.).

“Transgender” is a political term used for individuals who believe their gender identity does not match their biological sex. Gender dysphoria is the clinical term for those in this position, which is a psychological disorder. It is something that comes with a lot of stress.

Being in the military, especially being called into combat, is a highly stressful environment. It is not a place for people who are struggling with their identity to go figure it out.

Frankly, the military doesn’t care about your identity, another thing that seems to be lost on liberals. You don’t join the armed services to express yourself — quite the opposite.

Secondly, there is already a high suicide rate among combat veterans. A recent study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics reveals that transgendered youth have incredibly high rates of suicide attempts. 50.8 percent of transgender male teens say they have attempted suicide, and 29.9 percent of transgender female teens say they have as well.

So Kamala Harris and others think it is a good idea to throw a group known to be unstable in the mix? And give them weapons to boot? Yeah, a fantastic idea.

Shane Vander Hart

Shane Vander Hart, an Iowa native, is the online communications manager for the American Principles Project and a frequent contributor to TruthInAmericanEducation.com. Shane is also the Editor-in-Chief for CaffeinatedThoughts.com, a popular Christian conservative blog.

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