While U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis has blocked the enlistment of “transgender” people into the military for the next six months (currently enlisted individuals “transitioning” to the opposite gender are safe), that order has not stopped the military branches from moving forward with training for how rank-and-file military personnel should treat this small minority.
For example, CBN News reported that, as laid out in “Vignette 4” of the U.S. Army's new Tier Three Transgender Soldiers Training, a male soldier on his way to fully self-identifying as a female may use the women's facilities in every case — including appearing naked in a collective shower.
Here's how the policy is stipulated: “Following her [sic] transition from male to female [which did not include sex reassignment surgery] and gender marker change in DEERS [the military's personnel database], a transgender Soldier begins using female barracks, bathroom and shower facilities. Because she did not undergo a surgical change, the Soldier still has male genitalia.”
In case there is misunderstanding on the part of military personnel, the policy continues: “Understand that you may encounter individuals in barracks, bathrooms, or shower facilities with physical characteristics of the opposite sex despite having the same gender marker in DEERS.”
While personnel are expected to be “respectful of the privacy and modesty concerns of others,” transgender personnel “are not required or expected to modify or adjust their behavior based on the fact that they do not 'match' other Soldiers.”
Additionally, the training warns against gossip about fellow soldiers “transitioning” to the opposite sex. “Social interactions and developing friendships with peers are what contribute to a positive work environment,” the training emphasizes. “Maintain an inclusive environment and do not gossip. In accordance with good order and discipline, do not ask a colleague or subordinate for their personal information unless it is mission related.” That includes “information about a Soldier's gender identity, sexuality, medical challenges, and/or gender transition.”
Writing in The Federalist, James Hasson , a former U.S. Army captain and veteran of the U.S. action in Afghanistan, wrote that such a policy “is a first” for the U.S. military. “The military is normally in the business of telling soldiers to 'modify or adjust their behavior' all the time” — but that apparently does not apply to sexually confused military personnel.
Noting that “most Army showers look like a prison cell with several shower heads on the wall,” Hasson explained that “anyone who has dealt with the practical challenges of funneling 30 people through them in ten minutes understands that 'privacy' will be incompatible with reality. Female soldiers who feel uncomfortable sharing facilities with individuals who still have 'physical characteristics of the opposite sex' will just have to put up with it.”
The goal of Defense Secretary James Mattis's six-month postponement of transgender enlistment is to give the U.S. Joint Chiefs more time to assess the impact of President Obama's ruling allowing individuals who self-identify with the opposite gender to openly serve in the armed forces. Historically, the armed forces automatically discharged all such military personnel for what was then termed “gender dysphoria.”
Photo of female Army soldiers: U.S. Army