The Trump administration came to power with a clear mandate to restore U.S. military credibility, effectiveness, and capabilities. Such a mandate involves reversing not only the debilitating impact of sequestration on our declining military force structure, but also the Obama administration’s social engineering mandates forced on our military.
These mandates did nothing to improve readiness or capabilities. They destroyed unit integrity, cohesiveness and the “will to win.” Clearly, under President Obama’s plan to fundamentally change America, the degradation of our military forces was a key element. The capitulation of our military leadership to accept these mandates was more than shocking, as it was a manifestation of the corrupt “political correctness” mentality run amok.
Civilian laws and different lifestyles which may be acceptable in a civil society should not be forced on the institution of the military. The military as an institution is not an equal opportunity employer. The military’s mandate is to protect and defend the country against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
Therefore, the military as an institution must have laws, regulations, and procedures to ensure the maintenance of good order and discipline in order to successfully complete its mission.
In June 2015, as part of the social engineering transformation of our military, the Department of Defense added “sexual orientation” to Military Equal Opportunity” categories; thereby, making the military institution just another equal opportunity employer. As a follow on, in June 2016, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter issued the initial directive ordering the military services to accept transgender personnel. How then did homosexuality and transgenders get accepted into the military culture?
In an excellent article by Mark A. Hewitt on July 17, 2017 in the American Thinker, he outlines how the American left and LGBT activists hijacked the American Psychological Association and, in effect, “normalized” personality disorders.
They successfully lobbied the APA to eliminate some of the sexual identity disorders from their “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM). In the U.S., the DSM not only serves as a universal authority for psychiatric diagnoses but more importantly, the Department of Defense relies on the DSM as its source reference for psychiatric diagnoses and mental disorders.
In 1968, homosexuality was listed in the DSM as a mental disorder. With constant pressure from the left and LGBT activists, the APA compromised itself by removing homosexuality from the DSM and replaced it with a nondescript “sexual orientation disturbance” for people “in conflict with” their sexual orientation.
Under constant pressure, the APA members removed homosexuality from the DSM in 1987 by a “majority vote.” With the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Repeal Act of 2010, another LGBT agenda goal was achieved to the detriment of the military services.
With the success the left and LGBT activists had on “normalizing” homosexuality, they used the same formula on the acceptability of transgenderism. In 2012, transvestitism was eliminated from the DSM and replaced with a “gender identity disorder.” It was further redefined as a “gender dysphoria.” What this did, in effect, was to remove all implication that transgenderism is a mental illness.
Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the former head psychiatrist for Johns Hopkins Hospital, has stated many times that transgenderism is a “mental disorder” that requires treatment and understanding. He further states that a sex change is “biologically” impossible. Further, it should never be forced on the military.
With the change in the latest fifth edition of DSM, the APA voted against Dr. McHugh and his group of like-minded psychiatrists. Regrettably, with the APA and the DSM, if you get enough votes, you can redefine, normalize, and ultimately legitimize any mental disorder. Common sense be damned. Mr. Obama and Mr. Carter had their justification.
In June 2015, with transgenderism voted out of the DSM, LGBT activists had one more urgent objective and that was to end the ban on transgender people serving in the military. Mr. Carter’s June 2016 directive took care of that. Even though a transgender person is mentally unstable and should never qualify for military service, unbelievably, there was no outcry from either congressional or military leadership.
These administration directives, in effect, made the military institution accept the LGBT agenda as law.
On July 13, 2017, the House of Representatives voted on an amendment to the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act offered by Rep. Vicky Harztler, Missouri Republican. The amendment would have prohibited the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for expensive “gender-reassignment” surgery as well as life-long hormone therapy for military personnel suffering from gender dysphoria.
Unbelievably, it failed to pass by just five votes, 209-214 with 24 Republicans joining with all Democrats who voted. Regrettably, this is another indication of failed Republican leadership — actually, we have none. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who missed the vote, apparently provided no leadership at all.
The other main social engineering mandate was to open all combat roles to women, including our Special Forces and U.S. Navy SEAL Teams. There have been many studies conducted including a special 9-month study by the Marine Corps, which clearly point out the physical limitations of women in direct ground (infantry) combat.
Clearly, all of the Obama administration’s social engineering mandates must be canceled. The moral underpinnings of our military must be restored. Further, since the DSM has been fully compromised by the left and the LGBT activists, it should no longer be used by the DOD for guidance and should be decertified. There is only one criteria that should apply and that is mission success. Anything that detracts from that objective must be discarded.
• James A. Lyons, a retired U.S. Navy admiral, was commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations.