I approach this subject as a former member of the military serving in both the enlisted ranks as well as the officer corps. I have slept in a barracks with fifty plus men of all ages and colors and origins. I have slept in the field with a similar assortment of fellow soldiers. I am sure of offending some since it is impossible to avoid that with the stating of an opinion on matters such as this. I have been a unit commander and I started as a basic enlisted man, an E-2.
The esprit de corps (a feeling of pride, fellowship, and common loyalty shared by the members of a particular group) is absolutely necessary for a properly functioning military unit whether Army, Navy, Marines or Air Force and all the derivations involved. Mixed sex units have, I believe, finally achieved official acceptance from those in such units. That is not to say there may not be occasional issues, but men and women are able to serve side-by-side without inherent man/woman issues encroaching on the mission capabilities.
I fear that the addition of transgenders to those units risks issues developing from both male and female members. The definition of a transgender (denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex) brings another very difficult issue to the unit level. Men who believe they are of the opposite gender and women who believe they are of the opposite gender mixed into units of men who were born men, and women who were born women simply indicates to me the seeking of issues not conducive to a fighting military unit of any branch.
I well remember the latrines of my time where everything about each of us was vividly exposed. Showers were built to handle multiple people at one time. Commodes were arranged side-by-side with no walls or partitions separating the facilities. These conditions have no doubt changed since the time I was active. What happens in the field environment? Separate tents for four sexes now? Separate latrines for four sexes now? What about the differences in physical qualities? Do we set up training courses for the four and adjust the qualification standards to accommodate the four.
What about combat conditions? Do we somehow make those so as to be accommodating to different body types and strength ranges? Do we try to find some way to eliminate the sexual drives of the four variations? Is that even possible? If this world is to be as accommodating as the non-military world, everyone has to be treated as an equal…and yet that is not the way it is.
The transgender issue is more than just an issue of supposed fairness. We’re dealing with lives. We’re dealing with military missions that must be accomplished sometimes, often actually, under very stressful physical and mental conditions. I, frankly, would not want to be in a unit of regular and transgender males and/or females. I certainly would not want to be in a combat, or potential combat, situation with transgenders of either sexual persuasion. There are more than sufficient problems in a tactical military operation without increasing the potential exponentially.
Trying to somehow make believe that this is not going to be problematic by simply decreeing it so is pure folly. This frankly sounds like a liberal solution to a problem that doesn’t exist except for the declaration of one’s gender being decided to be different than that which one was born with. Such problems have no place being injected into the life and death world of combat forces. That life is more than tough enough already.
Political correctness has certainly run amuck in this instance.