OPINION: Let those who wish to serve in the military do so

cjones08012017 (1)

BY CHRIS FAULKNOR, PUBLISHER

Transgender individuals in the military has been a hot button topic lately.
Everyone seems to have opinion, myself included. Some, understandably, have concerns about people who identify on this basis. Members of the military have expressed views involving their comfort level, for example.
The women, for example, are concerned with the thought of bunking with a fellow soldier that, while identifying as a woman, still has a penis.
The resulting issue, in their eyes, is that because they aren’t comfortable with their brothers and/or sisters in arms, they will no longer be as combat-ready as they once were.
Others express concern with cost.
Our military (rightfully) provides excellent medical care for the men and women in the armed forces.
As such, given current policy, there is a chance that they may pay for gender reassignment surgery.
Naturally, some feel that this will result in people joining the military just to have this done at more reasonable rates.
Well, I respect the views of everyone out there, as long as their views recognize that hurricanes are caused by barometric pressure and not gay marriage.
That said, let’s deal with the first issue: unit cohesion as they call it.
It is very important that our soldiers be comfortable working together.
There’s one problem: That’s what they said about African Americans fifty years ago.
They wanted them to stay out of the military altogether.
They said things about the intelligence and temperament of the black population.
Well, that backfired, and as it turns out, it did indeed disrupt unit cohesion. But, then, guess what? The unit changed. The unit grew and adapted.
Today, there are African American officers in a variety of positions functioning just find.
As a country and a race, we are experiencing growing pains yet again.
We need to stretch our legs and adapt a little bit more to represent our whole nation and not just a part of it.
But that’s not all, because now we get to address this scientifically.
Fact: The military allows heterosexual men and women.
Fact: The military allows homosexual men and women.
Fact: The military has uniform regulations for our troops that govern things such as hair length and cosmetics.
Fact: The military has policies regarding which medical procedures they’re willing to pay for.
So what’s the problem?
Everyone is allowed in as it is and they must conform to a certain image.
Everyone who signs on the dotted line knows this going in.
That means that, even though a soldier with a penis may consider themselves female, that soldier will have to make a bit of a sacrifice and keep their hair short.
That soldier knew that going in.
This is, of course, just my opinion.
That being said, I know of some men and women serving who are indeed transgendered.
They are local and caring.
They made it through the same physical training and psychological screening that every other soldier has been through, and they passed.
They were willing to make concessions to conform with regulations.
They are patriots and I am proud to have them out there fighting for us.