Speaking in favor of transgender service

Three retired generals have spoken up in favor of the acceptance of transgender recruits into the military.

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy, Army Mj. Gen. Gale Pollock, and Army Brig. Gen. Clara Adams-Ender have written a statement:

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has stated that he will make personnel decisions based on evidence about what best promotes force readiness.

If he is serious about that commitment, he will maintain existing policy and make clear that there will be no return to the days of forcing capable applicants to lie in order to serve their country.

Transgender troops have been serving openly since the ban was lifted in June, 2016. Former SecDef Ash Carter's policy called for enlistment of transgender recruits beginning July 1, but current Defense Secretary James Mattis has hinted he may indefinitely delay any decision about that.

In early May, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work sent a memo calling for the services to submit their plans for accepting transgender recruits by July 1. The memo said there’s no intention of changing the policy “unless they cause readiness problems that could lessen our ability to fight, survive and win on the battlefield.”

That spawned a memo circulated by the Conservative Action Project calling on Mathis to end all transgender service.

Estimates are that there are currently between 6,000 and 14,000 transgendr people currently in uniform.

Military and political leaders insisted that lifting DADT would undermine cohesion, recruitment and retention, but none of these concerns were borne out and the change was uniformly hailed for improving readiness.

Similar fears were recycled about inclusive policy for transgender troops, but yet again, the fears turned out to be wholly unfounded.

--Kennedy, Pollock and Adams-Ender

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