Republican Rep. Steve Russell of Oklahoma warned in an interview with the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins last week that if the military moves forward with a planned integration of openly transgender people, soldiers may start pretending to be transgender in order to get out of combat deployments.
The Pentagon has yet to announce whether it will move forward with an Obama administration decision to allow openly transgender people to join the military, but the Army has continued training service members on the implementation of the policy in preparation for a July 1 start date.
Russell told Perkins that allowing transgender people to serve openly would “cause a lot of confusion and problems for commanders” and would “hinder” readiness. In fact, he warned, soldiers might pretend to be in the process of a gender transition in order to get out of serving in combat.
“As you go through this proposed policy, it says that commanders are given authority to make determinations on whether or not a soldier would be deployable based upon where they’re at in this supposed chain of transitioning,” Russell said. “Okay, so here’s another vignette. I decide that I don’t want to deploy to combat. I state that I’m suffering from gender dysphoria, which there is no criteria for commanders to even know what this means. And then I’m in a trick bag where I have to make some sort of determination based upon some social, ideological agenda that the vast majority of the military is not focused on…and now you’ve got a construct where soldiers who don’t want to deploy can throw this monkey wrench into the machinery, and you’re underwriting it with your tax dollars.”