Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-11-14
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Two years into open transgender service, consensus says inclusive policy works
From a Palm Center news release
2018-07-01

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


SAN FRANCISCO, CA— Tomorrow, June 30th marks two years since the U.S. military officially began allowing transgender individuals to serve openly in its ranks. Those service members have compiled a record of distinction and earned consistent support from the highest ranks of the nation's military leadership.

"While the culture wars are fought out on Donald Trump's Twitter account, transgender service members have compiled a two-year record of achievement serving America on the front lines. They are proving every day what military leaders and medical professionals told us: that inclusive service strengthens the U.S. military and makes our country safer,"said Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center.

The consensus in support of open service puts virtually the entire military chain of command at odds with the political leadership of the armed forces, as President Donald Trump and his Defense Secretary, James Mattis, have called for reinstituting a ban on transgender service members. Federal judges have repeatedly blocked the ban from going into effect as the issue works its way through the courts.

Patriotic transgender men and women have been serving openly with honor and distinction. Examples include:

Air Force Staff Sergeant Ashleigh Buch, whose commander, Lt. Col. David "Bo" Rice, said of her: "She means the world to this unit. She makes us better. And we would have done that [supported gender transition] for any airman but it made it really easy for one of your best."

Air Force Staff Sergeant Brandon Rodriguez, who has deployed three times in his 11 years of service and currently works in ground transportation at Kirtland Air Force Base. Rodriguez said his commander has been "nothing but supportive." His commander, Col. Richard Gibbs, said, "How we choose to define ourselves doesn't really matter to me. It's all about the people who choose to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. The rest of it is just treating each other well."

Air Force Staff Sergeant Logan Ireland, who was awarded the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, was named a Non-Commissioned Officer of the Quarter and is a Combat Leader Course graduate. Ireland deployed to Qatar and to Afghanistan to conduct counter-intelligence missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Marine Lance Corporal Aaron Wixson, whose commanding officer, Col. Walker Field, said that Wixson's decision to forgo an athletic scholarship and enlist showed his "exceptional character and patriotism," adding that: "We are lucky to have such talent in our ranks and will benefit from his retention … Enabling LCpl Wixson to openly serve as a transgender Marine necessarily increases readiness and broadens the overall talent of the organization."

Navy Corpsman Petty Officer 3rd Class Akira Wyatt, a Filipino-American who immigrated to the U.S. as a child and later enlisted in the Navy. Wyatt was assigned to the 1stMarine Division at Camp Pendleton, deploying to Okinawa, Japan as part of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Deployment, where she provided medical education, training, and support to sailors and marines.

Army Captain Jennifer Peace, who deployed to Iraq and to Afghanistan as a military intelligence officer with the 4thInfantry Division. She was named the Distinguished Honor Graduate of the Intelligence Career Course and became the primary staff intelligence officer in her Infantry battalion during the "Pathway to the Pacific" mission to Asia, where she was rated #1 out of 11 intelligence officers.

Top military and medical leaders have issued clear support for open service, finding that inclusive policy has been a success and is not harming unit cohesion or readiness. These voices include:

Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who told the Senate Armed Services Committee, "I believe any individual who meets the physical and mental standards, and is worldwide deployable and is currently serving, should be afforded the opportunity to continue to serve." Gen. Dunford said that he had consistently advised the president and the military that service members should not be removed on the basis of their gender identity. Gen. Dunford's two immediate predecessors have also endorsed inclusive policy. Admiral Mike Mullen advised the Congress to "respect the military's judgment and not to breach the faith of service members who defend our freedoms" by discharging them after they had been told they could openly serve. General Martin Dempsey said of transgender troops that "the service of men and women who volunteer and who meet our standards of service is a blessing, not a burden."

All five military chiefs of staff, with Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley saying in April 2018:"I have received precisely zero reports of issues of cohesion, discipline, morale and all those sorts of things."

The military's highest ranking enlisted personnel, who have expressed support for inclusive service. The Navy's top enlisted sailor, Master Chief Petty Officer Steven Giordano, said of transgender sailors, "We are honored and blessed to have you on our team, and you will continue to have my support." His Army counterpart, Sergeant Major of the Army Daniel Dailey, reiterated the supportive conclusion of his boss, Gen. Mark Milley, that inclusive service caused no problems saying, "I agree with the chief. We haven't heard any issues or concerns, and I personally have not had any issues or concerns." And the Air Force's top enlisted leader, Chief Master Sergeant Kaleth Wright, answered a question about transgender service members by vowing to treat them equally, saying, "We take care of them just like any other airmen."

Fifty-six retired generals and admirals, who last year affirmed their support for transgender service, stating that a ban would cause "significant disruptions" to readiness, "deprive the military of mission-critical talent" and "compromise the integrity of transgender troops who would be forced to live a lie, as well as non-transgender peers who would be forced to choose between reporting their comrades or disobeying policy."

A group of three retired military Surgeons General and three Palm Center scholars, who issued a report in April thoroughly debunking the Pentagon's rationale for banning transgender military service. The panel found that the Pentagon had made "a series of erroneous assertions and mischaracterizations about the scientific research" on the health and fitness of transgender people. The report found the military had "no evidence" that allowing transgender service has compromised unit cohesion, and that the Pentagon's case for reinstating the transgender ban "is contradicted by ample evidence clearly demonstrating that transition-related care is effective, that transgender personnel diagnosed with gender dysphoria are deployable and medically fit, that inclusive policy has not compromised cohesion and instead promotes readiness, and that the financial costs of inclusion are not high."

Six former U.S. Surgeons General, who signed a statement disputing Pentagon claims about the medical fitness of transgender troops and issuing their support for open transgender service. The group stated that, in their judgment, the Pentagon's report on transgender military service "mischaracterized the robust body of peer-reviewed research on the effectiveness of transgender medical care" and that there is actually "a global medical consensus that such care is reliable, safe, and effective" and that "transgender troops are as medically fit as their non-transgender peers."

The American Medical Association, the nation's largest group of physicians and medical students, which stated in April that "there is no medically valid reason to exclude transgender individuals from military service" and that the Trump administration had "mischaracterized and rejected the wide body of peer-reviewed research on the effectiveness of transgender medical care" in an effort to rationalize a ban on transgender troops. The rationale for the transgender ban has now been repudiated by the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, and the American Psychiatric Association.

About The Palm Center

The Palm Center is an independent research institute committed to sponsoring state-of-the-art scholarship to enhance the quality of public dialogue about critical and controversial issues of the day. Our research has been published in leading social science journals and extensively consulted and cited by US military leaders. The Palm Center seeks to be a resource for scholars, policymakers, journalists, opinion leaders, students and the public at large. For more information, visit us at www.palmcenter.org .


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Trans Israeli activist speaks at Temple Sholom 2018-11-15 - Ofer Erez—Jerusalem Open House ( JOH ) CEO and the first trans officer to serve openly in the Israel Defense Forces ( IDF ...


Gay News

Brynn Tannehill: Trans activist calls for action in new book 2018-11-14 - Many readers remember Dr. David Ruben's Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex ( But Were Afraid to Ask )—a 1969 best-selling ...


Gay News

Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace debuts side-project album 2018-11-13 - Transgender punk rocker and Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace's new side project, The Devouring Mothers, unleashes kinetic energy with an intimate touch ...


Gay News

'TransScripts' brings lives of transgender women into the light 2018-11-13 - In the shadow of President Trump's alleged memo that seeks to define them out of existence by declaring that gender is immutable from ...


Gay News

'Unicorn Ball' Dec. 15 at The Shapiro 2018-11-13 - The 2018 Unicorn Ball—Brave Space Alliance's largest annual fundraiser—will take place Saturday, Dec. 15, at 9 p.m.-2 a.m. at The Shapiro Ballroom, 1612 ...


Gay News

AVER hosts 26th annual Veterans Day dinner 2018-11-12 - The American Veterans for Equal Rights ( AVER ) Chicago chapter hosted its 26th Annual Veterans Day Dinner Nov. 11 at Ann Sather ...


Gay News

Judge orders IDOC to thoroughly review trans-prisoner case 2018-11-09 - In a ruling that lawyers called "historic," a federal judge ordered that Illinois Department of Corrections ( IDOC ) review the case of ...


Gay News

Events planned around Veterans Day 2018-11-07 - The American Veterans for Equal Rights ( AVER ) Chicago Chapter will hold its annual LGBTQ Veterans Day Dinner Nov. 11 at 6:30 ...


Gay News

My boss fired me from my funeral-home job for being transgender 2018-11-07 - I was in funeral services for nearly three decades before I was fired in 2013 for being transgender. In March, a federal appeals ...


Gay News

Diane Robinson talks Chicago Voice Center 2018-11-07 - When Diane Robinson became a certified Fitzmaurice Voicework teacher in 2010, she decided to take that knowledge and start the Chicago Voice Center ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.