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Pentagon Burdens Warfighting Commanders with New Transgender Policies for Military Personnel

Pentagon Burdens Warfighting Commanders with New Transgender Policies for Military Personnel

New policies expand transgender procedures to the service academies, allow gender transitions while on-duty, and mandate group shower facility use by both biological sexes if certain administrative requirements are met. Oh, and military commanders are responsible to “not accommodate biases against transgender individuals”

As RealClear Defense recently reported, on December 20, 2022 the Department of Defense issued an update to DOD Instruction 1300.28, entitled “In-Service Transition for Transgender Service Members,” which “expanded woke transgender mandates in significant ways.”

The article compares the original instruction, issued in the waning days of the Obama administration in October 2016, to the current expansion, with the aide of a study and summary compiled by the Center for Military Readiness (CMR).

Significantly, the CMR study and summary explain the significance of the changes, which fall into six major areas, and which were issued “without public debate”:

1. Changes official DoD vocabulary to reflect transgender ideology;
2. Specifically involves the military service academies and ROTC (contract) programs;
3. Holds commanders directly responsible for all alleged “biases against transgender individuals;”
4. Allows cross-dressing and other “transitioning” behaviors on-base as well as off-base;
5. Allows “de-transition” procedures if treatments do not resolve gender dysphoria; and
6. Restricts collection and disclosure of data on “incidents of harmful behaviors” involving sexual
orientation and transgender persons, even for legislative purposes.

The RealClear Defense article cites official U.S. Army training PowerPoint slides, which were originally uncovered by the Wall Street Journal, and notes that they cover various “vignettes,” such as what Commanders should do if “a ‘female to male’ soldier announc[es] a pregnancy.” RealClear Defense also explains that the PowerPoint slides cover a scenario where a “male to female” soldier, who successfully transitioned and is officially recognized as such despite not having gender reassignment surgery, “wants to use female-designated showers.” “Another scenario describes a female soldier who is experiencing tension with a ‘transgender female’ roommate.”

These scenarios are problematic, according to RealClear Defense, because “both the discomforted female soldier and a commander who tries to find a solution likely would be accused of ‘biases against transgender individuals.'”

My review of the original DOD instruction and the December 2022 update, accomplished with my 31-year Navy history of reviewing DOD and Navy instructions similar to these, indicates that RealClear Defense and CMR have gotten the instructions largely correct.

For example, the original instruction used the termed “preferred gender,” whereas the 2022 change uses “self-identified gender.”

More importantly, the original instruction mentioned service academies and ROTC only once, in a section covering initial service tour of duty, and noted that all academy and ROTC midshipmen/cadets are “subject to separation” “based on a medical condition that impairs the individual’s ability to complete such training or to access into the Armed Forces, under the same terms and conditions applicable to participants in comparable circumstances not related to transgender persons or gender transition.”

But the new change, in the very first section, states that “the term ‘Service member’ includes cadets and midshipmen in a contracted Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) status and those at the Military Service Academies,” and allows all of the benefits of the new changes to academy/ROTC students, including transitioning while “in an on-duty status before gender marker change in DEERS” (i.e. before the service officially changes a person’s sex after hormone and/or gender reassignment surgery).

I entered the Naval Academy at age 17, and can only imagine the changes that are occurring in what was already a pressure-cooker, 24/7 Navy academic and military environment.

CMR’s sixth bullet point about restricting information regarding “incidents of harmful behaviors” is actually contained in a separate DOD Instruction, 6400.11, which provides guidance for military leaders on preventing suicide, domestic abuse, etc.

Most importantly, from my perspective, the Army slides uncovered by the Wall Street Journal unintentionally reveal the complexity and likely negative impact to combat readiness from the new transgender policy changes, and the incredible new burdens on military commanders. Here are some highlights:

Vignette 3: A “male to female” transitioning soldier is unable to meet physical fitness test requirements due to taking “feminizing hormone therapy.” Solution: Do not change the PT test date or authorize extended leave, but a Commander may “work with the soldier and the military medical provider (MMP) to accommodate the soldier” or forward an “exception to policy (ETP) request to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.”
Vignette 4: A “male to female” soldier needs gender reassignment surgery that will extend the transition timeline past the soldier’s deployment date. Solution: The brigade-level Commander may delay the surgery until return from deployment or “assign the soldier to home-station duties.”
Vignette 5: A “female to male” soldier develops “severe” gender transition surgery “complications” requiring “additional procedures and an extended period of non-deployable time.” Solution: If the MMP finds that the complications may “permanently interfere with continued service, either the brigade-level commander or the military medical provider may refer the Soldier for a determination of fitness in the disability evaluation system,” which could lead to retirement or separation.

Note these are in addition to the other vignettes already noted including a “female to male” soldier who gets pregnant, mixed biological gender group shower facilities, and mixed biological gender roommates. Of special note, vignette 8 states that shower “[f]acilities will not be designated, modified, or constructed to make [transgender] only areas.”

The enormity of the burden on the warfighting commanders, who must prevent “biases against transgender individuals” while maintaining combat ready, deployable forces, is obvious.

As the former Commanding Officer of USS Toledo (SSN-769), a Tomahawk capable Los Angeles class attack submarine, for almost three years, I can tell you that maintaining peak combat readiness at all times with 1/3 of the crew changing over annually, with annual tactical and nuclear reactor inspections, pre-deployment certifications, and deployments to potentially hostile waters, even with an all-male crew, was extremely challenging and and easily the most demanding thing I have ever done.

Keep in mind that crew berthing on attack submarines is so limited that attack subs routinely bunk junior sailors in temporary “racks” in the torpedo room, with zero privacy, or use “hot racking,” where three sailors use two bunks, which works because one of the three sailors is always on watch.

I honestly cannot imagine accomplishing the same while contending with the Navy’s version of the transgender vignettes with a mixed gender crew. Submarine crews can and have done a lot, but this may be a bridge too far.


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Get rid of Silly Milley!

    Get rid of his boss:

    As always seems to be the case, very few in this country have the gonads to name the enemy. The only enemy that is allowed is the straight American white male. THE domestic terrorist.

      henrybowman in reply to Pasadena Phil. | March 1, 2023 at 9:45 am

      These guys almost have it, but Obama is not the “leader” of this movement. He’s only a hand-picked general — the chief agent of the actual leaders, much as FJB and AOC are merely the agents of their behind the scenes handlers (well, in AOC’s case, not even behind the scenes). Who runs Obama is still a secret, though you can see the campaign reaching all the way back to the presidential nomination speech for Bill Clinton which the then-unknown Barack Obama was somehow nonetheless tapped to deliver on the televised national convention stage.

        Bloppo in reply to henrybowman. | March 2, 2023 at 11:02 am

        I believe that the money trail will lead to the tyrannical forces seeking to force a New World Order (NWO) upon the USA and the entirety of Western civilization. Ultimate goal is a one-world government that starts with the Western sphere. A hereditary elite class will be the ultimate overlords with a well-paid cohort of minions, cohorts and lackeys doing the dirty work; quite similar to what is occurring now.

        A multitude of methods are used to rip asunder Western countries preparing them for tyrannical takeover. From refugees and illegal alien invaders to perversions taught in schools to propaganda and indoctrination spewed endlessly via TV and even advertising is full of pro-NWO content. Relentless and endless is the preparing the people’s minds to accept elite-class mastery.

        I fear that the tyrants are destined for victory unless extreme measures are taken to stop them.

The Gentle Grizzly | March 1, 2023 at 7:33 am

I served, did my job, and that was that. The regulars here know that I “plauy for the other team”, but it never came up.

I can’t imagine what is going through the heads of flag officers at this point. The Biden administration is appointing people who tick the right social justice boxes, and nothing more.,

I don’t have an answer to this. And, no, I do not see a re-elected Trump doing wholesale firings. He didn’t the first time.

    Virginia42 in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | March 1, 2023 at 8:20 am

    By the time they reach flag rank, they’re politicians for the most part. What David Hackworth called “Perfumed Princes.” They’ll throw anyone under a bus to get ahead, including their own troops. This tendency was already visible in the 80s and it’s gotten a lot worse, even with 20 years of war that one would have thought might have mitigated this crap. Guess not.

That restriction on gathering data about ‘incidents of harmful behavior involving trans’ is not gonna fly. Especially when it specifically references not providing the data to Congress.

    Lucifer Morningstar in reply to CommoChief. | March 1, 2023 at 12:37 pm

    Wanna bet? First time Congress requests such data the pentagon with the approval of the Biden regime will simply state, “We’re sorry. We cannot provide such data as we do not collect data about incidents of harmful behavior involving our trans personnel.”

    And the Republicans will let them get away with it. The Republicans always let them get away with such things.

All this does is continue to gut the military by forcing out people who do not agree with this policy, rules and BS training days getting this BS shoved down their throats. Add that on top of the vaxx mandate and all the illegal crap that went down with that as well.
You know what I think? I think this is all being done to push so many people out that FJB starts up the draft because the “volunteer force” is so weak in the face of Russian and Chinese aggression.

Hey, if the lose even the transgender recruits, they will be left with nothing.

When we get an actual pro America C&C, all of these senior officers need to be fired for going along with this. The heads of the Service Academies as well. Keep going down the line of stars and bars even if the stopping point is Lt. Col..

    jb4 in reply to Whitewall. | March 1, 2023 at 8:52 am

    As previously posted, Trump did next to nothing to drain the swamp and, arguably, fell victim to it. His judgment of personnel was terrible, perhaps because he was a “one-man show” in the private sector. A good case can be made that his selections of Sessions, Rosenstein, Wray and Barr, and listening to Fauci, cost him re-election. My criteria for 2024 is someone who is both a good leader and effective.

docduracoat | March 1, 2023 at 8:52 am

Everything Biden (and Miley) do is “America last”.

This policy is designed to weaken our armed forces.

Why they want to destroy America is another matter.

henrybowman | March 1, 2023 at 9:15 am

And while we’re all dicking around with this makework malarky, we’re completely whiffing the challenge of important and dangerous military threats we don’t even understand.

Unlike some, I personally don’t believe these have anything to do with extraterrestrials. I believe they’re entirely terrestrial threats, and that’s way worse.

The perfumed princes at the Pentagon obviously forgot the most important guidance for TG’s in the ranks:

“If you’re facing capture, save the last bullet for yourself. You really don’t want to know what’ll happen to you if the enemy takes you alive.”

The results of this will be less people will want to serve.
Obama and Biden’s admin leftovers will cause our defeat when China invades Taiwan. Many Americans will die.

2smartforlibs | March 1, 2023 at 12:36 pm

Military job one: Kill people and break things. Nowhere is making a loser feel good about himself part of the job.

Meanwhile back at the ranch …

CNN — Top US Defense official says Iran could produce ‘one bomb’s worth of fissile material’ in ‘about 12 days’

Seems “whatever they are” come with attitudes

We’re in the Woke Army now

Has anyone asked the men and women on active duty how they feel about these new rules? Were they consulted on whether they wanted to room or shower with the opposite sex?

Subotai Bahadur | March 1, 2023 at 3:15 pm

Speaking as someone whose original career goal involved Annapolis, and who actually had a senator ready to give me an appointment [my dad moved us out of state because he did not want me to have a military career], I have this recommendation to American civilians:

1) Do not support your children entering the military.
2) Encourage those you know in the military to get out ASAP.

Subotai Bahadur

E Howard Hunt | March 1, 2023 at 3:34 pm

At one time the scariest thought a young soldier had was losing his manhood in a combat injury. Now they eagerly enter the ranks to have it sliced off at government expense.

Maybe we need a shooting war so we can put all the freaks on the front line.

When is the military budget going to finally reflect the military’s partisan commissars?

I appreciate the allowance to de-transition if the transition does not resolve gender dysphoria.

If, however, gender dysphoria is a real mental condition that can only be resolved by body mutilation, the better course of action is to deem anyone with gender dysphoria unfit to serve.

I don’t want someone with a mental condition so grave that they have to cut parts off their body to be depended upon for defending this nation.

What a clown show. I guess I should start learning Mandarin now.

BiteYourTongue | March 2, 2023 at 9:27 am

As a baby boomer, and a military brat. I’ve never read so much horse pucky in my life. I thought when you joined the services you were suppose to be fit for service. Clearly having to accommodate the transgender community, at the expense of national security and the discomfort of those who in fact are fit to serve does not serve the country well. To say nothing of the added expenses on the taxpayers.