WASHINGTON — 10 Army soldiers have come forward to request recognition as the opposite gender following a move by the U.S. Department of Defense to lift the military’s longstanding ban on open transgenders in the service.
“Is the army ready? Well, we are educating ourselves, and we are trying to get ready,” Gen. Mark Milley, chief of staff of the Army, told The Associated Press. “We’re well-past the issue of debating and arguing about transgender. We are now into execution, to make sure the program is carried out with diligence, dignity, respect.”
The number is stated to represent only those who have come forward publicly thus far. The outlet states that there might be others who don’t want to make the “change” official yet or who are just considering identifying as the opposite gender.
As previously reported, “Transgender Service in the U.S. Military: An Implementation Handbook” was released on Sept. 30 “to assist our transgender service members in their gender transition, help commanders with their duties and responsibilities, and help all service members understand new policies enabling the open service of transgender service members.”
It states that soldiers are permitted to undergo “gender transition” after receiving a gender dysphoria diagnosis and treatment recommendation from a military medical provider.
“Transitioning gender may have an impact on several different aspects of your career including deployability, assignment considerations, medical classification, and aspects of individual readiness (e.g., physical fitness, body composition assessment, and professional military education attendance),” the handbook reads. “Since the impact to your career could be significant, it is strongly recommended you discuss this with your commander and/or mentor.”
It also advises military commanders that those who obtain hormone treatments may have difficulty meeting physical fitness standards, and tells troops to refer to those who identify as transgender by their preferred pronouns.
“Individuals undergoing cross-sex hormone therapy may experience changes to their body shape and physical strength, which may have a notable effect on their ability to maintain standards,” the guidelines state. “If that is the case, consult with the individual and the [military medical provider] as you would for any other service member with a medical condition affecting their ability to meet physical fitness standards.”
In the Army, plans for training among the troops must be developed by Nov. 1 and implemented by July 2017.
However, not all have been supportive of the military’s move. Air Force Chaplain Capt. Sonny Hernandez wrote in a recent post on the matter that Bible-believing service members should be concerned that they will now be trained to believe that it is acceptable for men to identify as women, and vice versa.
“How should Bible-believing service members feel about receiving training that will inculcate them about a transgender lifestyle that they believe is wrong (Romans 1:24-32)? Since the Bible provides explicit content (indicatives and imperatives) regarding immorality, it is plausible to say that many will feel discomposed,” he said.
“[I]f a man desires to be a woman, and subsequently decides to mutilate his flesh, or shave down his Adam’s apple, and lauds himself as a woman, he will never be a woman; he will always be a man because that is how God created him (Genesis 1:27),” Hernandez stated. “Changing one’s sex will never be proven to be heroic; all it proves is insurrection against the One to whom they will one day stand before (Revelation 20:11-15).”
He urged fellow service members to kindly reach out to those struggling with their identity.
“Bible-believing service members must engage their peers with gentleness, so perhaps God may grant them repentance (2 Timothy 2:25), and lovingly plead with LGBT advocates and supporters to ‘seek the LORD while He may be found and call upon Him while He is near’ (Isaiah 55:6), and pray that Christ will save them (1 Corinthians 6:11),” Hernandez said.
Editor’s Note: Hernandez’ opinions are solely his and do not necessarily represent the views of any government, military or religious organization.