Many hormone treatments that can cause not

Many men
and women of diverse sexual orientations, such as gay, lesbian or even straight
have served not only in our nation’s military but militaries throughout the
world. One of the more controversial subjects that has recently risen within
the ranks is allowing people who identify as transgender to join the Unites
States military.  Excluding these men and
women from joining would not only be bias but would also go against the basic
freedoms the military defends. Although accepting transgender recruits would be
a boost in troop numbers, one has to acknowledge the challenges and changes in
doctrine that comes with accommodating these personnel.

The
taboo of being a homosexual in the military dates back to wars as far back as
the Revolutionary war. Military policies regarding ones sexual orientation
started to surface as the United States was beginning to enter World War
II.  They had even implemented a
psychiatric evaluation in their enlistment process that included homosexuality
as a disqualifying trait, yet today it has become the new norm within our
society. During the Clinton administration, The Department of Defense came out
with the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy eliminating military personnel from
discussing or discriminating the sexual preferences of their fellow battle
buddies. The act even prohibited homosexual or bisexual individuals from speaking
about their intimate relationships such as marriage or family while in the
force.Although many of these individuals may have a lot to offer our nations military,
it can also be a very hindering new aspect our troops and command teams would
have to prepare for. Being a transgender male or female requires extensive
doctor’s visits and hormone treatments that can cause not only physical body
changes that may make it difficult to participate in physical training but
emotional and mental fluctuations that can lead to a rollercoaster of emotions.
A study conducted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the
Williams Institute in 2014, show that the suicide attempts among trans men came
in at 46% while suicide attempts for trans women lay at 42% , this does not
include the additional medical complications that arise while under hormone
therapy. High dosages of both estrogen and testosterone can lead to conditions
such as abnormal liver function, endometrial cancer, or even breast cancer. In most
cases that would put the potential recruit out of the work area for at least a
couple weeks which would possibly be a setback for the mission or task at hand.
One of the biggest assignments with in the military is making sure troops have
a comfortable work and living environment, there is a fear that some members would
be uncomfortable with this new change and that it would result in poor work performance.
To emphasize there could be major setbacks for the military while trying to accommodate
the needs of transgender individuals.

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Although
there is a lot of issues and unanswered questions in regards to transgender in
the military, a great deal of good can come out of this new revolution. Many believe
that it would be a huge leap forward in trying to achieve equal rights in the
nation. One of the most brought up influences is the fact that about eighteen
different countries around the world have already accepted and adapted to
having the LGBT community serve freely within their militaries. When asked
about his thoughts on President Trumps ban on trangender military personnel by
the LA Times, former Israel Defense Force Major General Elazar Stern responded
with, “in
every post, at every level, always, I knew there were homosexual individuals
serving with me. No transgendered people that I knew of, but maybe. We would
never ask, honestly, and we’re not supposed to know. The army’s task is to
support its soldiers no matter what their needs, not meddle about in their
lives.” Even the
commander of UK Maritime Forces Rear Admiral Alex Burton tweeted: “I am so glad
we are not going this way.” After President Trump released a series of tweets
on the topic. When it comes to the expenses of medical treatments, what the
military fails to release is that there are hormone treatments already being
given to service members not just for gender dysphoria but for an array of
reasons, the most common being contraceptive hormones for women. Furthermore,
the cross hormone treatment risks have been exceptionally low and rare and not
likely to cause any problems in military performance. Although the price for
gender reassignment surgery is high, only about 2% of service members per year
will select to go through with the procedure. Overall, many have supported that
involving transgender members would not be a setback but more of new chapter
within the military.

To conclude, there are many
complicated twists and turns, both good and bad, when it comes to this delicate
subject. Yes, this could be a major step forward for the United States military
but it can easily be a major step back. There is a lot more we must learn and
discuss before we can really implement and understand this new policy being
incorporated. Regardless of the opinions and worries of others as of January 1st
2018, Transgender individuals are officially allowed to join our military
branches. We have yet to see the challenges that will flourish with the new
law, but one must hope that we will be able to adapt and overcome just like any
obstacle the military is given.