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U.S. Military Transgender Policy

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Underway said:
And how is your sexuality a "mental issue" that would preculde you from being fighting fit.  The two are mutually exclusive.

Gender identity issue however is a medical condition. Does it in and of itself preclude you from being fighting fit? Absolutely not. That's why I said the Military should be made aware and examine whether there are any other conditions associated with it.

http://www.medicaldaily.com/transgender-people-more-likely-develop-depression-and-anxiety-247044

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23398495
"The rates of depressive symptoms (51.4% for transgender women; 48.3% for transgender men) and anxiety (40.4% for transgender women; 47.5% for transgender men) within the current study far surpass the rates of those for the general population. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to analyze the data-2 separate models were hypothesized, based on reports of anxiety or depression. "

I can probably go through a medical journal database and pull a tonne of articles with high percentages of correlated conditions.

As I said in my first post. Is it an out right disqualifier? Of course not. Should it be examined in depth? Definitely.
 

Blackadder1916

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RelentlessTsunami said:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23398495
"The rates of depressive symptoms (51.4% for transgender women; 48.3% for transgender men) and anxiety (40.4% for transgender women; . . .

As I said in my first post. Is it an out right disqualifier? Of course not. Should it be examined in depth? Definitely.

Since you quoted statistics from only one of two referenced articles, I'll focus on that and quote the whole abstract and highlight what I think are more prevalent statements.

Anxiety and depression in transgender individuals: the roles of transition status, loss, social support, and coping.

Budge SL1, Adelson JL, Howard KA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of the current study was to examine facilitative and avoidant coping as mediators between distress and transition status, social support, and loss.

METHOD:

A total of 351 transgender individuals (n = 226 transgender women and n = 125 transgender men) participated in this study. Participants completed measures on transgender identity, family history of mental health concerns, perceptions of loss, coping, depression, and anxiety.

RESULTS:

The rates of depressive symptoms (51.4% for transgender women; 48.3% for transgender men) and anxiety (40.4% for transgender women; 47.5% for transgender men) within the current study far surpass the rates of those for the general population. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to analyze the data-2 separate models were hypothesized, based on reports of anxiety or depression. The SEM results suggest that the processes for transgender women and transgender men are primarily similar for depression and anxiety; avoidant coping served as a mediator between transition status and both distress variables. Social support was directly related to distress variables, as well as indirectly related through avoidant coping.

CONCLUSION:

Results suggest the need for practitioners to focus on interventions that reduce avoidant coping strategies, while simultaneously increasing social support, in order to improve mental health for transgender individuals. Individuals who are in the beginning stages of their transition will use different coping strategies than those who are in later stages; interventions should be adjusted on the basis of the transition status of transgender clients.

While one could conclude that this was a very lightweight study based on the size of the group and possibly sparse credentials of the principal researcher (my apologies to her for so saying as a way to make a point), the message I get from a quick perusal of the abstract was that transgender persons have a difficult time accessing the support that would make their lives (and health) better.

I know that you were trying to make the point that the common perception is transgender individuals are likely to present with multiple mental health issues that should be closely examined before judging them fit for military service.  I agree with you, however, that already happens for everyone who goes through a recruiting medical.  How often do we (on these means) see posts from youngsters bemoaning the fact that they have been refused because they had a history of a wide variety of physical and mental (minor in their eyes) symptoms and diagnoses?  The system generally works.  That is the Canadian system, however since the OP is reporting about a "proposed" change to enlistment into the United States military, I can't say.  Only time will tell.  The US military has a very different approach than us.

“(The Supreme Court of the United States) has long recognized that the military is, by necessity, a specialized society separate from civilian society…(t)he rights of men in the armed forces must perforce be conditioned to meet certain overriding demands of discipline and duty.”          Parker v. Levy, 1974

Whereas we, as individuals, (okay, you, since I am now retired from the CF) are considered to be subject to the same rules and have access to the same rights and in the same manner as those in civil society.

As for hordes of transgender individuals storming US recruiting stations seeking enlistment so that they get a paid sex change, unlikely to happen.  Provision of medical services to US military is also handled differently than us.

The Canadian Forces also has a well documented history in dealing with transgendered individuals (okay, one individual) who are going through the enrolment medical process.  It's been discussed on this forum before, back in 2009 (yes, 6 years ago), when the over-decade long issue was resolved.  Part of my comment then was:

http://army.ca/forums/threads/89007/post-873435.html#msg873435
The tribunal decision is very long and detailed.  I’ll be interested in reviewing it again when it is translated.  But for those interested, it provides an excellent example of the process that medical authorities go through when assigning a medical category to a potential recruit with a significant (or unusual) medical history.

It should be acknowledged the tribunal officer did note the professionalism of the CF medical personnel involved (and called as witnesses) - from the PAs who performed the original (and following) recruit medicals, to the various RMOs who reviewed them, to the specialist (a military psychiatrist of longtime acquaintance), and to the DMEDPOL staff who also reviewed the case before the final medical category was assigned.

As the links in that post no longer work, those interested in the full story can find that CHRT decision (as well as the numerous others related to MONTREUIL and the CF et al) by going to that body's search page - it should be the top one, from 2009.  Some of those decisions have been quoted as precedent in other cases dealing with similar issues.
 

tomahawk6

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The need for donors to supply blood is a military necessity if deployed to a combat zone.
 

Ludoc

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tomahawk6 said:
The need for donors to supply blood is a military necessity if deployed to a combat zone.
Due to the risk of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (mad cow) people who have "Spent a cumulative total of five years or more in Western Europe outside the U.K. or France from January 1, 1980 through December 31, 2007" are unable to donate blood.

When I was young my dad, and consequently my whole family including me, was posted to Germany for six years.

Should I have been banned from joining the military?
 

cupper

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To go a step further regarding the mental health issues that can develop for a transgendered individual, a large factor is the lack of support, fear of discrimination and violence being perpetrated upon them, and essentially being treated differently than the rest of the population, essentially being abnormal.

A lot of those issues would go away if society was accepting and supportive. So taking the steps to accept transgendered people into societies institutions; the military included, is a way of addressing the underlying causes of these mental health issues.

So the argument that transgendered people may be fit but could have mental health issues related to being transgendered has to be looked at in the larger societal context.
 

George Wallace

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Ludoc said:
Due to the risk of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (mad cow) people who have "Spent a cumulative total of five years or more in Western Europe outside the U.K. or France from January 1, 1980 through December 31, 2007" are unable to donate blood.

I don't think you have the correct dates.
 

Brasidas

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cupper said:
To go a step further regarding the mental health issues that can develop for a transgendered individual, a large factor is the lack of support, fear of discrimination and violence being perpetrated upon them, and essentially being treated differently than the rest of the population, essentially being abnormal.

A lot of those issues would go away if society was accepting and supportive. So taking the steps to accept transgendered people into societies institutions; the military included, is a way of addressing the underlying causes of these mental health issues.

So the argument that transgendered people may be fit but could have mental health issues related to being transgendered has to be looked at in the larger societal context.

Not from a social engineering context. If a member is mentally and physically fit, great. If a member has mental issues which are contributed to by the outlook of society, which undermine their ability to serve, the place to start "fixing" their issues isn't to start fixing society by enrolling them.
 

Ludoc

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George Wallace said:
That makes 10's of thousands of Canadians unable to donate blood.
I never said it wasn't stupid.

To bring it back to the point of this thread: neither of these things impair a person's ability to be a soldier. The debate around this sounds a lot like the arguments people make about keeping women out of combat roles in the States. Even though many other countries, including ours, seem to make it work. People just hate change.
 

tomahawk6

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Its a health and lifestyle issue that could have an impact on a seriously injured soldier.Soldier requires tranfusions to replace lost blood.If the plasma has been tainted by HIC or Hep C to name a couple of common diseas,soldier now has a disease vs just dying from blood loss.Certainly its a Hobsons choice and the reason there are rules to keep the blood supply clean.
 

cupper

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This was a story on the local news report tonight.

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Despite-Lifted-Ban_-Challenges-Ahead-for-Transgender-Service-Members_Washington-DC-316051321.html

It is the story of a male to female transgendered person who served in the US army and did 5 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. After her last tour she came to terms with the issues of gender identity and started hormone treatment. When the CoC became aware, she was given a discharge based on being transgender. After complete transition, she applied to be reinstated based on court rulings against discrimination based on gender identity. Along with the new policy coming into place, she has been reinstated as a Sgt. in the National Guard with her new identity. However all records in the system list her as male, so she may have to serve as a male, even though she has fully transitioned. 
 

joning soon.

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Marchog said:
I'm going to get blasted for this- but if someone has mental issues (which is what this is), I would question the wisdom of having that individual in a military.

This is feel-good political posturing, not pragmatism.

even if being transgender is a "mental issue" it's not one that needs to be "adjusted" and I'm pretty sure that treating them like garbage will not help their mental health.
 

Blackadder1916

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tomahawk6 said:
Its a health and lifestyle issue that could have an impact on a seriously injured soldier.Soldier requires tranfusions to replace lost blood.If the plasma has been tainted by HIC or Hep C to name a couple of common diseas,soldier now has a disease vs just dying from blood loss.Certainly its a Hobsons choice and the reason there are rules to keep the blood supply clean.

And what does any of that have to do with the issue of transgender individuals being able to serve in the military.  While the US military has a tremendous record in providing blood products through its own blood program, it does not "require" a serving soldier, sailor or airman to donate blood nor is it a condition of enlistment that an individual be eligible to donate blood.  While I don't have exact figures at hand, if my recollection serves me right somewhere in the neighborhood of 40% of all US military personnel are ineligible but that was over 10 years ago when a greater number still in had served in Europe during the 80s and 90s.  Somewhat more current is that about 80% of blood products used by the US military are collected and processed by its own blood program; the other 20% is from outside sources.  While only about 5% of the eligible US population donate, 10% to 12% of eligible US military donate.

 
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cupper said:
So the argument that transgendered people may be fit but could have mental health issues related to being transgendered has to be looked at in the larger societal context.

Right, which I think everyone can agree with. However the military isn't Bob the builder. You should be fighting fit before you join. Regardless of age/gender/size
 

captloadie

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tomahawk6 said:
Its a health and lifestyle issue that could have an impact on a seriously injured soldier.Soldier requires transfusions to replace lost blood.If the plasma has been tainted by HIC or Hep C to name a couple of common disease,soldier now has a disease vs just dying from blood loss.Certainly its a Hobsons choice and the reason there are rules to keep the blood supply clean.
And here lies one of the largest hurdles these members will face: an unfounded bias based on a out of date stereotype. I would hazard a guess that, even on a per capita basis, there are more straight hetero men and women in the US Military with STD's coursing through there body then LGTBs do.
 

cupper

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RelentlessTsunami said:
Right, which I think everyone can agree with. However the military isn't Bob the builder. You should be fighting fit before you join. Regardless of age/gender/size

I think you missed the point of what I was saying.

If you had more support and acceptance by society and it's institutions; including the military, one of the biggest causes for mental health problems that members of the LGBT community experience will be minimized or disappear.
 
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cupper said:
I think you missed the point of what I was saying.

If you had more support and acceptance by society and it's institutions; including the military, one of the biggest causes for mental health problems that members of the LGBT community experience will be minimized or disappear.

Nope, that's actually exactly what I thought you meant.
 

quadrapiper

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Military service's uniquely pervasive role in members' lives might perhaps make it a more fitting place for a societally-marginalized group to find their feet, assuming they are both suited to service and brought in as simply another service member. Where else can someone "go to work" for months - at sea, say - and deal only with generally squared-away individuals who know them, and regardless have a demanding job to do?
 
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jollyjacktar

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Get ready for the next shit storm initiated by POTUS.

Trump bars transgender people from military service 'in any capacity'

Steps were taken last year to allow transgender military members to serve openly, but plan was delayed

Thomson Reuters  Posted: Jul 26, 2017 9:25 AM ET|
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would not allow transgender individuals to serve in the U.S. military in any capacity.

"After consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military," Trump wrote in a series of Twitter posts.

"Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail," the Republican president tweeted.

The Pentagon ended its ban on openly transgender people serving in the U.S. military in 2016 under Democratic President Barack Obama's administration. It was expected to start allowing transgender people to begin enlisting this year, provided they had been "stable" in their preferred gender for 18 months.

Last month, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis approved a six-month delay in allowing transgender recruits to join the U.S. armed forces.

The delay alarmed transgender advocates.

Last year, then Defence Secretary Ash Carter cited a study by the RAND Corporation think-tank that said there were about 2,500 active-duty service members and 1,500 service members who were transgender.

In 2010, the policy that banned gay and lesbian military members from being open about their sexuality, known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," was repealed.  But transgender members still worked in secret.

As a result, the number of active transgender military members is hard to pin down.

The RAND study concluded there would be "little or no impact on unit cohesion, operational effectiveness, or readiness," and estimated there would be between 40 and 200 transition-related surgeries annually.

The Canadian Forces lifted its ban on members of the LGBT community serving in uniform following a high-profile case in 1992. It has also funded dozens of sex-reassignment operations in the last two decades, including 19 between 2008 and October 2015.

The Canadian military last updated its transgender policy in 2012, and was said last year to be reviewing the policy.

Under the current policy, the Canadian military accommodates the needs of transgender members except in extreme circumstances such as significant extra costs or potential threats to the health and safety of other military personnel or the public.
...
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/trump-tweets-transgender-military-1.4222080
 
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