Historic day for the Pentagon as Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the end of any banning or dismissing any transgender servicemembers just because of their gender identity.
see video below …
Any American over 40 years old is familiar with the TV show M.A.S.H., which was a sometimes very dramatic comedy based on a mobile army surgical hospital during the Korean War. The show featured a Corporal named Klinger who was trying to get out of the Army by pretending to be a woman. At the time, the notion of such a person serving was considered ridiculous by most. Klinger’s superiors, however, wouldn’t ever give him the ‘Section 8’ dismissal, which stood for him ‘being crazy’ for dressing and acting like a woman. Why? Because despite his ‘efforts’ to come off as no good for the Army, Klinger was a great soldier. When he was a medic, he was one of the best. When he was promoted to company clerk, he overcame obstacle after obstacle and again became one of the finest.
In real life, transgender service members want to serve their country and the last thing they want is people questioning their sanity or fitness to serve. Defense Secretary Ash Carter estimates that we have between about seven to eleven thousand transgender service members serving today, including reservists. All proud to serve their country and complete their missions that the military assigned them.
Until now, there has been confusion and even harassment and unfair dismissals of transgender service members. These are all patriotic Americans of whom the military spends literally hundreds of thousands of dollars to train and deploy around the globe. Carter and the Defense Department spent a year studying the issue and today they formally announced changes in how transgender service members could no longer be dismissed or ‘banned’ from the military. Carter called the study and experience ‘an educational one.’
In his formal announcement, Carter said;
“The Defense Department and the military need to avail ourselves of all talent possible in order to remain what we are now — the finest fighting force the world has ever known,” Carter said Thursday at the Pentagon.“We don’t want barriers unrelated to a person’s qualification to serve preventing us from recruiting or retaining the soldier, sailor, airman or marine who can best accomplish the mission. We have to have access to 100% of America’s population,” he added.“Although relatively few in number, we’re talking about talented and trained Americans who are serving their country with honor and distinction,” he said. “We want to take the opportunity to retain people whose talent we’ve invested in and who’ve proven themselves.”
Carter said the decision was “a matter of principle.”“Americans who want to serve and meet our standards should be afforded the opportunity to compete,” he said.