Pentagon: Transgender Troops Can Re-Enlist (For Now)

The Associated Press reports:

New guidance released Friday by the Pentagon makes it clear that any transgender troops currently in the military can re-enlist in the next several months, even as the department debates how broadly to enforce a ban on their service ordered by President Donald Trump.

In a memo to top military leaders, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said a high-level panel will determine how to implement Trump鈥檚 ban on transgender individuals in the military. Trump directed the military to indefinitely extend the ban on transgender individuals enlisting in the service, but he left it up to Mattis to decide if those currently serving should be allowed to stay.

Sen. John McCain, the Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Friday he backed legislation that would bar the Trump administration from forcing transgender troops out of the armed forces.

McCain of Arizona said in a statement that any service member, including those who are transgender, who meets the standards for military readiness and medical fitness should be permitted to serve.

  • lymis

    Puts the lie to the idea that the military universally objects to having transgender servicemembers among them.

    • LesbianTippingHabits


      I think that everyone agrees that transgender Americans, with one exception, have served honorably.

      Unfortunately, progressives’ canonization of America’s most famous transgender veteran, Chelsea Manning, is not helping those honorable transgender servicemembers.

      • Friday

        Manning was placed in an untenable position in the first place: people always ignore how she was put in a very irregular position of having to effectively cover up war crimes when there are *supposed* to be two people handling them at all times. It’s very likely that her trans status/DADT was used *against* her so she’d have no recourse to the chain of command. It was irresponsible to just dump the *lot* on Assange, of course, who turned out to be a real bad-faith operator, not to mention, of course, just plain a crime, but there’s a lot of mitigating factors in that, to my mind. She shouldn’t have been put in that position in the first place, for one.

        • LesbianTippingHabits


          Thank you. Does that make Manning a hero, or a victim? How about an example for other transgender servicemembers, or an individual exception?

          • Friday

            You’re the only one claiming those are the only two possibilities. Or trying to make her ‘represent trans service members.’ Some things just aren’t that clear-cut, is all.

          • LesbianTippingHabits


            Thank you. If they’re not clear-cut, then perhaps Chelsea Manning should focus on her new life as a private citizen – privately.

  • Sam_Handwich

    Gillibrand and Collins tried yesterday to add an amendment to the defense authorization act, but the senate leadership blocked it.

    So looks like a bipartisan group, including McCain will try a stand alone bill

    • scream4ever

      It worked with the repeal of DADT, and McCain holds a powerful position on the Senate Arms Service Committee.

  • greenmanTN

    At least they don’t suffer from the heartbreak of bone spurs! 馃槶

    • S1AMER

      Or ingrown toenails! Stuff like this (to say nothing about the turmoil and torment of avoiding STDs) is so very much worse than military service during wartime!

      Fortunately, only those with money and connections suffered from such terrible maladies. The poors were the lucky ones, ’cause they had the pleasure of getting drafted and sent to Vietnam, a great pleasure denied to poor Donald and his cohort.

      • TampaDink

        I keep expecting him to claim that the Mueller investigation is his 9/11.

  • fuow

    Yup, a President Clinton would have been just as hateful toward transgender and intersex people. No doubt about it. Thank the gods she wasn’t elected. Imagine how life would have been for queer people with her as commander in chief and Garland on the Supreme Court. Horrid, that’s how it would have been, just horrid.
    Better add /snark, this being the Internet and all –

    • TampaDink

      At least we don’t have a sitting president who runs a child porn ring out the basement of a pizza place. /sarcasm.

      • fuow

        Well, there is that.
        No fears – given the piss-poor turnout of Democrats in the ensuing elections – ameriKKKa will be safe from us thar’ commie-liberal-pinko-fags for many years to come.

        • TampaDink

          So true.

        • Ninja0980

          Yup, and that appears to continue with the governor’s race in VA this fall.
          Do so many folks on our side not see how stupid it is to stay home solely because you don’t get someone who 100% yet?

          • fuow

            (Raises hand, wags tail vigorously) Oh! I can answer that!
            Answer: Far too many folks on our side do not see the stupidity of letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

          • Ninja0980

            I’ve gritted my teeth and pulled the lever for Cuomo for two governor’s elections now.
            If I can do that, so can purity bots elsewhere.

    • S1AMER

      To say nothing about how hard she would have worked to make sure christianists could discriminate against anybody and everybody to whom they objected!

      • fuow

        Right – after all, DADT was really her idea. Just ask the log-cabinnetts.

        • Ninja0980

          Never mind the fact that Bill Clinton actually suggested letting LGBT troops serve openly, and received massive backlash for it.
          So much that not only did DADT become the law, but Republicans used this to attack him over and over again on their march to retake the house.
          I wonder what the Log Cabin fools have to say about that.

    • Ragnar Lothbrok

      She gave the eulogy for Edith Windsor.
      President Construction Cone hasn’t even mentioned her.

    • Ross

      Oh yes. Yes! I thank God every day that this country is not suffering from the daily horrors of That Woman and instead we have a great man in the White House, a man serving with distinction, decency, intelligence, and grace. A scandal free administration.

      Thank God.

      Thank God.

      • fuow

        Yes, praise the Lard and pass the biscuits.
        Sigh.
        Sadly, nothing has changed. He’d still win, we’d still lose and the majority of Democrats are still refusing to learn from our mistake.

      • Chucktech

        Yeah, thanks a whole goddam lot, god…

      • Ragnar Lothbrok

        Some of them literally think that.

        • Ross

          I know.

          Insert high sigh here.

  • margaretpoa

    As a transwoman who was thrown out due to gender identity back in 1991, get out with your benefits while you can. Don’t let them strip you of them like they did me! Out of the service with benefits is better than losing everything trying to preserve your career. Trust me, I know what you’re going through but I don’t see this ending well. Trump has decided the best bone he can throw to his evangelical base is the transgender one. He isn’t going to give up on this. You owe it to yourselves to think of your own futures outside the military.

    • fuow

      Sadly, yes, you’re quite right. A government which first asks you to be open about yourself and then takes down your name to use against you is very, very much one in the tradition of the Nazis.

      • Sam_Handwich

        same tactic they are using on the Dreamers

        • clay
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            Has anyone else lost the ability to block spammers like this one? ^ The Flag&Block buttons disappeared (for me) yesterday! I’ve tried logging off/back on, and re-booting: no joy. 馃檨

          • clay

            I have them when I’m in Joe’s comments, directly, but not when I go through Disqus.

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      • margaretpoa

        It’s how they roll, the overpowering belief in doing one’s “duty”, in this case to make their work of oppression easier. Get out with benefits now or lose everything when Trump goes through a fit of pique at his orders being ignored.

    • netxtown

      I got out while the getting was good – and retained all benefits. That said, I hope you are aware that you can petition your branch to have your dismissal upgraded on a case by case basis. Being that gender identity was the basis – you stand a very good chance of having it overturned, which then leaves your service performance as the basis of the discharge level.

      If you haven’t already done so, please pursue the appeal process!!! YOU DESERVE it!

    • narutomania

      MargaretPoa: I was about to post a general question along those same lines: Why would any transgendered people want to serve in the Armed Forces of a country whose government didn’t want them?

      My advice is: retire as soon as you can, take your lifelong benefits, and find a better job with a better employer.

  • Joe in PA

    Take that President Pence.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok
    • Chucktech

      The military brass should just say, “No, Mr. President, we’re not going to kick them out. Fire us.”

      Wanna bet Trump would fold like a cheap suit?

  • bambinoitaliano
  • netxtown

    What do they mean: RE-enlist?This would seem to indicate some were dismissed…?

    • TampaDink

      Reenlistment is a term that defines signing up for another stint.

      • netxtown

        Yes – if they had already completed their term of service. Their word choice is ambiguous as it can also apply to someone who was involuntarily discharged.

        • Chucktech

          I don’t think anyone HAS been involuntarily discharged over being transgender.

        • scream4ever

          I’ve wondered the same thing.

    • Enlistment is for a limited time — normally, if I remember correctly, two years. After that, you can re-enlist or go home.

    • netxtown

      I found my answer-
      “any transgender troops currently in the military can re-enlist”

      It’s one thing to miss a period…but to miss a whole word!!??!! Yikes!

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    OT- Let’s find this POS, – TODAY

    https://twitter.com/funder/status/908757729518473217

  • TrueWords

    I love how the country carries on as if Trump doesn’t exist. He’s like a British King except with even less power.

    Also the Trumpkins won’t serve in the military anyway. For several reasons; obesity, diabetes, chemical addictions, lack of education, criminal offenses, offensive tattoos on the neck and face, small hands, and this I am talking about the average 18 – 25 year old potential military recruit.

    • Chucktech

      A.K.A., Deplorables.

  • this is actually a bit hilarious.
    and a quiet, Fuck You to President Putz.
    well done.

    • Ben in Oakland

      I made the same comment above before I read yours. Great minds and all that.

  • Uncle Mark

    At this point, why would a transgendered individual ever lay down their life in defense of a country that can’t commit to standing behind them?

    • Todd20036

      Patriotism, or economic reasons.

      If you have only a HS diploma, the military may be your best job option.

      • LesbianTippingHabits

        For what it’s worth, I think patriotism and economic reasons are not mutually exclusive, as part of everyone’s individual circumstances.

    • Girlgoon

      We’re frequently backed in to a corner by lack of acceptance in our communities and difficulty getting anyone to hire us. Under employed and underpaid, the military’s job training and college tuition assistance, along with avoiding housing descrimination, becomes an option worth considering.

  • greenmanTN

    What is so despicable about this is that, like the Dreamers, they were asked to “come out,” basically register themselves, with assurances it was safe to do so, and now the government is using those lists to purge them from the military and (for Dreamers) the country.

    • Chucktech

      This is a beautiful little example of why no nation on earth should ever again trust the United States of America. How pathetic is that?

      • marshlc

        And if you think countries re negotiating trade deals aren’t paying attention, dream on.

        The rest of the world knows that this was a stolen election, and that the US as a whole is not as bad as this administration makes it seem. But we also now know that after a stolen election, for the most part it’s still business as usual in the US. There’s going to be a lot less trust, a lot less goodwill.

    • That_Looks_Delicious

      Yeah, the cities/agencies that are promising these people that they will “be okay for now” or that they’re “doing everything they can” to protect them need to cut the crap and be honest because they could very well be making their situation worse. Or else they need to come up with some Trump- and trumpanzee-proof ways to ensure their rights.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    So it’s pretty much back to DADT for trans service personnel. Great, now they get to live in fear that their careers are temporary while trying to do their duty….yeah, that’s totally going to help things.

  • Ben in Oakland

    It sounds like the pentagon just said fuck you to Trumpee. If they allow the trans troops to reenlist, and there are no issues, there is the proof of Ireland discrimination.

    • Tiger Quinn

      As opposed to the no issues that already existed before when they were already serving?

      • Ben in Oakland

        Exactly the same non issues, except even more non issue than before.

  • Tiger Quinn

    Anyone else taken aback at the difference in how trans soldiers are being defended versus when gay soldiers were left swinging in the wind? Don’t read that as trans soldiers shouldn’t get what they are – thank god they’re NOT being treated (entirely) like we were – it’s just odd that there’s this very sharp, strong response versus the tepid “Oh why do you even want to serve anyway?” response we got back in the late ’80s and early ’90s.

    • Chucktech

      Absolutely. I’m frankly and pleasantly astonished.

    • Friday

      I think that’ll be because most of those kinds of responses were *addressed* with all the discussion there’d been about LGBT troops in general, and it’s really just the same arguments from the other side retargeted on a smaller group they think they can defame more easily.

  • Chucktech

    Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said a high-level panel will determine how to implement Trump鈥檚 ban on transgender individuals in the military.

    I’m very pleasantly surprised at the attitude the military adults seem to be having over this issue. They know that being able-bodied and wanting to serve our country are the true criteria of military service.

    I hope this “high level panel” drags its feet as they assiduously “study” this issue. They need to complete the “study” in a couple or three years…

    • Girlgoon

      “High level”, meaning: bogus, incompetant, potus appointed, cronies and pets.

  • Hue-Man

    Sort of on-topic – U.S. military ruins recruits’ lives. NYT

    In the last week, recruiters have rescinded contracts for an unknown number of foreign nationals who had signed up for Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest, or Mavni, a program introduced in 2009 to attract immigrants with certain language and other skills that are in short supply into the armed forces.

    More than 4,000 Mavni recruits have been in limbo since late last year, when the Department of Defense began introducing additional vetting.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/15/us/fast-track-to-citizenship-is-cut-off-for-some-military-recruits.html?emc=edit_th_20170916&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=4646989
    And this:

    But critics have expressed concerns that terrorists could infiltrate it. There has never been a Mavni recruit charged with terrorism. However, dozens of native-born recruits have been charged with terrorism.

    • thatotherjean

      Welp, there go our translators, and people with non-book knowledge of attitudes and ways of life of people other than ourselves, who may be our adversaries or our allies. It’s not like we have experienced, knowledgeable diplomats in place to pick up the slack. We are being “governed” by idiots.

    • The_Wretched

      this is beyond stupid; not allowing in foreign nationals into our military will reduce force readiness. We need their language and life experience.

  • andrew

    Yes you lucky transgender troops can reenlist to put your lives on the line in the service of our nation, for the time being. Just know that we may kick you out later as we implement the bigoted orders of our commander-in-chief.

  • LesbianTippingHabits


    Progressives’ canonization of Chelsea Manning, America’s most famous transgender veteran, is not helping.

    At all.

    The best thing anyone can do is to encourage the media, and Chelsea Manning, to allow Chelsea Manning to focus on her new life as a private citizen – privately.

    Thank you.

    • fuow

      Have to disagree on that one.

  • JWC

    See what happens when Donny gets bored and stamps his little foot everybody ignores him

  • ohbear1957

    Real (Not fake) News /s: Proof of How Transgender Troops Are Destroying the U.S. Military https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9cd1c1c5165e6b1e2a2bc964dd3a096c73ad6cc2f822ec0994ad6940f8837a26.png

  • scream4ever

    Also, transgender troops will continue to receive medical treatments, which to me is the biggest takeaway from this.

  • catherinecc

    > 鈥淲ith the advent of Trump as the commander in chief of our armed forces, MRFF has experienced a massive influx of new military and civilian personnel complaints of religion-based prejudice and bigotry, most of them coming from non-fundamentalist Christians being persecuted by their military superiors for not being 鈥楥hristian enough,鈥欌 Weinstein tells Newsweek.

    > He says noncommissioned officers at one Air Force base reported that their superiors told them Trump would make it USAF policy that in order for 鈥渄isbelieving Jews鈥 to be allowed into the USAF or deemed fit for promotions, they would have to show via objectively established behavior that they were at least honestly 鈥渃onsidering the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.鈥

    http://www.newsweek.com/christian-fundamentalists-us-armed-forces-national-security-threat-613428

    • The_Wretched

      The MRFF’s work is vital to keeping our armed forces from becoming (or staying) overtly fundamentalist christian. I occasionally send them a few bucks.

    • Bj Lincoln

      So they would not promote my ‘disbelieving Pagan’ ass for not believing their bible? I would be filing complaints daily.