Brian Baker: Good policy: No transgenders in military

By Brian Baker

Last update: Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

 

I wanna be an Airborne Ranger,

I wanna lead a life of danger,

I wanna go to Vietnam,

I wanna kill some Viet Cong.

– Vietnam-era double-time cadence

As I’m writing this it’s been a few days since President Trump declared that transgendered people will no longer be allowed to join the military. As an Army veteran, I strongly applaud that decision.

Restrictions on who can serve in the military are nothing new. There are many conditions that can prohibit people from serving: deafness, blindness, asthma, epilepsy, age, lack of education, criminal record, height and weight restrictions, low IQ, psychological conditions, and many more.

Each of these criteria categorize those individuals who fail to meet the required standard as unfit to serve based on the underlying principle of what is “good for the needs of the service,” and rightfully so.

The job of the military is to kill people and blow things up. It’s not a social engineering lab. Anything that detracts from that primary mission makes it less effective and gets the wrong people killed: our own.

In basic training one of the first things the cadre does, part of the primary goal of basic, is to subdue or eliminate individualism – because it harms the team effort. That’s why everyone gets the buzz haircut, badly fit uniforms, yelled at all the time by everybody, and driven until you drop.

All because you have to get past the idea that you’re “special” and learn you’re just one cog in the machine, and only then can you start learning how to function effectively in a military environment.

In battle, anything that detracts from the team effort can get you killed. And there’s no such thing as “privacy.” You eat, sleep, crap, fight, bleed and die together. You can’t have disruptive issues in a unit – because, again, they can get you killed.

But by their very nature, what are the transgendered? If nothing else, based on their percentage of the overall population, they’re certainly not “mainstream” in any way. At “around 0.6 percent of U.S. adults” (http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/06/30/484253324/1-4-million-adults-identify-as-transgender-in-america-study-says), they most assuredly are different from the average soldier, if not outright “special.”

Further, “transgender” is indisputably a psychological condition or disorder (http://www.icd10data.com/ICD10CM/Codes/F01-F99/F60-F69/F64-/F64.1, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_dysphoria). A host of psychological conditions preclude military service, so this ban isn’t breaking any new ground in that respect.

Most importantly, part of the transgender existence means adopting the appearance of the opposite sex. There’s no way that can take place without being disruptive to unit cohesion, particularly if it takes place during duty periods. That’s just an inescapable truth.

Have transgendered people served, and served honorably, in the past? Without a doubt. But – and it’s a big “but” – they’ve done so without displaying their transgender proclivities. Kind of a de facto “don’t ask, don’t tell” reality.

That’s not what we’re discussing now. What we’re talking about now is “trans” people serving as openly “trans,” and there’s absolutely no way that wouldn’t be disruptive.

For example, the military regulations defining uniform design and grooming standards are different for men than they are for women. So how would that work? Would transgender men in a unit suddenly be authorized to wear skirt uniforms and man-buns? And somehow or another the other men in the unit wouldn’t react to that, and to the person appearing that way?

That’s a complete denial of basic human nature, on top of which it encourages the very “specialness” that basic training was designed to eliminate, as I mentioned earlier. It’s going to unavoidably affect unit cohesion, and very possibly get people killed, ultimately.

What about transgender males wanting to use the females’ latrines and shower facilities, and vice versa? Not to mention trying to accommodate this problem in the field. How would that “specialness” be worked out without a whole lot of needless disruption to operations, not to mention unit cohesion?

Further, let me ask this question: if it’s “discriminatory” to bar transgendered people from serving, don’t we then have to open the doors to asthmatics, epileptics, people with Down Syndrome, blind people, and anyone and everyone else who’s currently barred from serving because he or she fails to meet certain required qualifications? Aren’t those people being “discriminated” against, too? Isn’t the very idea of qualifications discriminatory?

So this bizarre idea that you can just throw anybody into the military, especially combat units, without regard to any real-world concerns and everything is going to be just fine – it’s completely unrealistic.

Remember the mission: killing people and blowing things up. Not social engineering.

Brian Baker is a Saugus resident.

 

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Brian Baker: Good policy: No transgenders in military

 

I wanna be an Airborne Ranger,

I wanna lead a life of danger,

I wanna go to Vietnam,

I wanna kill some Viet Cong.

– Vietnam-era double-time cadence

As I’m writing this it’s been a few days since President Trump declared that transgendered people will no longer be allowed to join the military. As an Army veteran, I strongly applaud that decision.

Restrictions on who can serve in the military are nothing new. There are many conditions that can prohibit people from serving: deafness, blindness, asthma, epilepsy, age, lack of education, criminal record, height and weight restrictions, low IQ, psychological conditions, and many more.

Each of these criteria categorize those individuals who fail to meet the required standard as unfit to serve based on the underlying principle of what is “good for the needs of the service,” and rightfully so.

The job of the military is to kill people and blow things up. It’s not a social engineering lab. Anything that detracts from that primary mission makes it less effective and gets the wrong people killed: our own.

In basic training one of the first things the cadre does, part of the primary goal of basic, is to subdue or eliminate individualism – because it harms the team effort. That’s why everyone gets the buzz haircut, badly fit uniforms, yelled at all the time by everybody, and driven until you drop.

All because you have to get past the idea that you’re “special” and learn you’re just one cog in the machine, and only then can you start learning how to function effectively in a military environment.

In battle, anything that detracts from the team effort can get you killed. And there’s no such thing as “privacy.” You eat, sleep, crap, fight, bleed and die together. You can’t have disruptive issues in a unit – because, again, they can get you killed.

But by their very nature, what are the transgendered? If nothing else, based on their percentage of the overall population, they’re certainly not “mainstream” in any way. At “around 0.6 percent of U.S. adults” (http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/06/30/484253324/1-4-million-adults-identify-as-transgender-in-america-study-says), they most assuredly are different from the average soldier, if not outright “special.”

Further, “transgender” is indisputably a psychological condition or disorder (http://www.icd10data.com/ICD10CM/Codes/F01-F99/F60-F69/F64-/F64.1, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_dysphoria). A host of psychological conditions preclude military service, so this ban isn’t breaking any new ground in that respect.

Most importantly, part of the transgender existence means adopting the appearance of the opposite sex. There’s no way that can take place without being disruptive to unit cohesion, particularly if it takes place during duty periods. That’s just an inescapable truth.

Have transgendered people served, and served honorably, in the past? Without a doubt. But – and it’s a big “but” – they’ve done so without displaying their transgender proclivities. Kind of a de facto “don’t ask, don’t tell” reality.

That’s not what we’re discussing now. What we’re talking about now is “trans” people serving as openly “trans,” and there’s absolutely no way that wouldn’t be disruptive.

For example, the military regulations defining uniform design and grooming standards are different for men than they are for women. So how would that work? Would transgender men in a unit suddenly be authorized to wear skirt uniforms and man-buns? And somehow or another the other men in the unit wouldn’t react to that, and to the person appearing that way?

That’s a complete denial of basic human nature, on top of which it encourages the very “specialness” that basic training was designed to eliminate, as I mentioned earlier. It’s going to unavoidably affect unit cohesion, and very possibly get people killed, ultimately.

What about transgender males wanting to use the females’ latrines and shower facilities, and vice versa? Not to mention trying to accommodate this problem in the field. How would that “specialness” be worked out without a whole lot of needless disruption to operations, not to mention unit cohesion?

Further, let me ask this question: if it’s “discriminatory” to bar transgendered people from serving, don’t we then have to open the doors to asthmatics, epileptics, people with Down Syndrome, blind people, and anyone and everyone else who’s currently barred from serving because he or she fails to meet certain required qualifications? Aren’t those people being “discriminated” against, too? Isn’t the very idea of qualifications discriminatory?

So this bizarre idea that you can just throw anybody into the military, especially combat units, without regard to any real-world concerns and everything is going to be just fine – it’s completely unrealistic.

Remember the mission: killing people and blowing things up. Not social engineering.

Brian Baker is a Saugus resident.

 

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Brian Baker

Brian Baker

  • lois eisenberg

    “No transgenders in military”
    “There are many conditions that can prohibit people from serving: low IQ pertaining to trump, psychological conditions,
    pertaining to trump and many more.”
    How’s about a bone spur in a foot , and a bone spur in one’s head ??????

  • lois eisenberg

    The Battle Cry of the destroyer-in-chief:

    I wanna be an Demolisher and demoralizing Ranger,

    I wanna lead a life of corruption,

    I wanna go to North Korea,

    I wanna kill some North Korean’s, South Korean’s and Americans, etc.etc.etc.

  • Ron Bischof

    Good read from a Veteran’s perspective, Brian.

    • Brian Baker

      Thanks, Ron.

  • lois eisenberg

    “In every state, majorities oppose Trump’s proposed ban on transgender military service”

  • Brian Baker

    Thanks, Bill.

  • lois eisenberg

    “you just like poking the bear with a stick, don’t you?” I LOVE IT ***
    “you just like poking the bear with a stick, don’t you?”
    Especially when the human bear is evil, corrupt, vile, hateful, deceitful, a pathological liar,
    and a cheat etc.etc.etc.

  • Brian Baker

    True, true, Rick. A final flip-off from Obozo. Kind of a big F-U on his way out the door.

  • Ron Bischof

    When all you have is one trick pony, you ride it to exhaustion.

  • vladmir vapnik

    Agree with the decisions of Obama or Trump on these issues or not, but Trump did not make this decision “on the advice of military experts” and he did little more than give a proclamation via twitter to our military. Talk about disrespectful to the chain of command, to our military. Is that how it works now, our President tweets out orders on twitter? What a joke, what a lack of respect for the office for which he holds! Trump supporters treat his tweets as official policy but Secretary Mattis last I heard had received no clear directives and the pentagon was awaiting such things before making any actual policy changes. Maybe that’s changed by now. Either way it’s pure political theater for men like Trump, an easy way to rile the emotions of those who are easily distracted. It works, everyone saw and heard about these tweets, they didn’t hear as much about the senate testimony of that day.

    Can you name any of these experts Trump consulted because all of his top leaders were baffled and shocked and surprised by the announcement? Mattis himself was on vacation when Trump tweeted and it’s known he disagreed with the decision and was angered in the manner the information was given. It didn’t seem like any of the Joint Chiefs were aware of the decision nor were they consulted. Nobody at the Pentagon knew what was going on and many were specifically worried Trump was announcing his intent to start a war with North Korea while waiting the 10 minutes or so for the second tweet to arrive. So who are these experts Trump consulted? How respectful is it to just make major policy changes over twitter without first consulting or even discussing the issue with our military’s leaders? I don’t know that seems kind of flippant and disrespectful to me, as it also seemed to our Secretary of Defense. It’s all theater for his supporters to feel good about themselves, the man doesn’t have any real policy. Now all of his supporters can tell us how much Brawndo has electrolytes.

    • Brian Baker

      Nice try at misdirection and obfuscation, bud, but your bleating has absolutely nothing to do with the actual topic of my column, which is the unfitness of transgendered people to serve in the military.

  • lois eisenberg

    “An unstable commander in chief: Trump’s ban on transgender troops was result of a tantrum”
    ” it’s been a few days since President Trump declared that trans-gendered people will no longer be allowed to join the military. As an Army veteran, I strongly applaud that decision.” It looks like you’re standing there with egg on your face ******
    Now the liar-in-chief can be called the tantrum-in-chief ******

  • lois eisenberg

    “The Democratic Socialists of America Have Actual Political Power.”

  • Ron Bischof

    You don’t know how to stay on topic either, “Vlad”. Like Ms. Eisenberg, you exhibit obsessive behavior that works itself into *every single conversation* no matter the topic.