July 1st Secretary of Defense Ash Carter will announce the end of the military transgender ban according to news reports. Details of the new regulations haven’t been released other than Carter will give the branches a year to implement the changes. This is a heady thought and most validating in nature. Transgender people openly serving our country proudly standing with cisgender soldiers protecting our individual freedoms, political system, and our very way of life.
But not everyone is thrilled at the prospect of transgender service. There are transgender people who reject military service and the consequences of doctrines of war out of principle.
Then there’s the right-wing extremist who rejects the idea that transgender people exist. Imagine how offensive it is to them that soon they will owe us a debt of gratitude as we openly sacrifice protecting their freedom.
Rep. Mac Thornberry, reports USA Today, the Texas Republican who chairs the Armed Services Committee, called on the Pentagon in a letter last July to provide a range of information on the impacts of repealing the ban.
Among the questions Thornberry asked:
“What would be the projected cost of changing the transgender service policy? To what extent would military barracks, ship berths, gym shower facilities, latrines, and other facilities have to be modified to accommodate personnel in various stages of transition and what would be the projected cost of these modifications?” Thornberry wrote.
Thornberry was not happy with the timing of the announcement, he said in a statement Friday.
“If reports are correct, I believe Secretary Carter has put the political agenda of a departing administration ahead of the military’s readiness crisis,” Thornberry said. “The force is exhausted from back to back deployments and spending their home-station time scrambling to get enough equipment and training before they deploy again. My focus is on helping the troops now — to be the most effective, deployable force possible.