Transgender Troops Becoming Harder to Discharge

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Autumn Sandeen protesting Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Autumn Sandeen protesting Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

The involuntary discharge of transgender Army personnel who are “outed” looks like it is about to get WAY more difficult. Check out the USA Today article by Tom Vanden Brook.

This proposal has the distinct aroma of back office politics and half-measures, but there is a silver lining to this cloud, folks! As a service member, I distinctly recall that when a civilian is put in charge of anything to do with us, the resulting bureaucratic nightmare meant that pretty much nothing got done.

Yes, our officers were aware of this phenomenon, and used it to effectively make stupid ideas dead in the water – put a civilian in charge of military policy. Civilian and military mindsets are so alien to one another that co-operation towards a common goal is difficult, and conflict is likely.

If this proposal is placed into Army policy, those conflicting natures will do what they don’t do best, and the practice of involuntarily discharging “outed” transgender service members will be void. The same type of shenanigans happened before the official repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”

I can tell you from experience, gay and lesbian service members’ fellow troops already knew their orientation in most cases, anyway.

Jennifer grew out her pinky nail while she was in Iraq and Afghanistan. She says buffing out the one nail helped her cope before she transitioned. (Courtesy of Jennifer)

Jennifer grew out her pinky nail while she was in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The nature of military service is such that you know a great deal about one another, even things you each keep secret from your non-military friends. We noticed a member of my platoon using neutral pronouns when referring to his SO back home. No one cared – because he was also one of the best machine gunners around.

The beautiful thing is that, as long as you have your comrades’ backs, they’ve got yours. There are exceptions, of course…but those are old ideas, and the sad souls who hold to them are fewer and fewer each year. A future where any qualified American can choose to join their nation’s military and serve with honor  has been long in coming. But it isn’t far off. ”

See you on the high ground.” – Drill Sergeant Garcia

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A 6'6" semi-retired gray hat with a deep love of prosciutto and havarti

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