Transgenders in the Military: the Newest Social Experiment
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus
My 1995 book entitled Changing Commands: The Betrayal of America’s Military devoted an entire chapter to the wrongness of welcoming females into military combat roles. I lost that battle after physical standards were lowered by the Clinton administration and women found openings to hold positions they desired in the several branches of service.
I never thought in 1995 that there would be a similar drive to open the military to “transgender” individuals. Some of the arguments I employed in the attempt to keep Susie and Liz from combat positions apply in the fight to bar those who seek to change what has always been considered unchangeable.
Here’s the most basic consideration I pointed to in 1995: “Wearing of the uniform of this nation shouldn’t be considered a right; it’s a privilege.” Yes, a privilege!
People no more have a right to a job in the military than they have a right to a job in any other profession. If standards exist for hiring steel makers, drivers of 18-wheel trucks, heavy equipment operators, and more, there can and should be standards for serving in the military, not only mental standards but also those in the physical realm.
The book I penned in 1995 stated: “If the military can properly exclude some persons for not meeting standards for height, age, physical, and mental capabilities, it can and should exclude for such as basic characteristic as gender.” Differences between men and women should never be ignored. But that was prior to the attack on our nation’s culture that saw standards for military service lowered and women welcomed into taking a place alongside men in very demanding posts.
I had the good fortune to develop a friendship with retired Brigadier General Andrew Gatsis. This West Point grad who served 36 years on active duty became one of the U.S. Army’s most decorated combat veterans. Asked about women in combat, he offered sound reasons for his sharp disagreement with the plan. He stated:
I have personally seen female soldiers unable to lift heavy equipment such as ammunition, mechanic’s tool sets, filled sandbags, food crates, or large camouflage nets. They could not move field range stoves, teletype machines, heavy generators, or even desks. During field exercises, they had great trouble changing heavy truck tires, hitching trailers to the trucks, and carrying people on medical litters. They could not brake, steer, and drive trucks in rough terrain, put up cumbersome antennas, erect large bulky tents, construct ammunition bunkers, dig adequate latrines, or lift material off recovery vehicles.
Politicians and questionable legal experts didn’t listen to the likes of General Gatsis. They went ahead and opened up assignments in the military ranks for women that the overwhelming majority can’t perform. One can be assured that an enemy’s fighters will be men.
Today’s issue is the so-called “right” of someone who can’t figure out which gender he or she has been awarded at birth. President Trump has told the Pentagon to reject “transgender” applicants, stop paying for sex-change surgery, and develop plans for handling – and likely discharging – the “transgenders” already in uniform. As expected, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) filed lawsuits to block what Mr. Trump has directed.
HRC points to a 2016 Defense Department study claiming that the annual cost for sex-change operations for military personnel would dwarf the cost for replacing many thousands of transgender individuals already serving in various military posts.
But the issue shouldn’t be economic costs. It should be based on the indisputable fact that some are born male with greater physical assets and some are born female who lack the strength and temperament to be successful fighters. And no one should overlook the fact that serving in the military isn’t a right; it’s a privilege.
Imagine a conflict where an enemy sends a well-trained and physically capable horde against our forces – either here in the U.S. or wherever our troops are stationed. The enemy is made up of strong men who know they are men. If the ACLU, Human Rights Campaign, and culture destroyers have their way, this enemy should have little problem overwhelming a force whose personnel – known to include “transgenders” – can’t even figure out which latrine to use.
President Trump is correct. The nation’s military is no place for transgender individuals.
Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.
Combat Is No Place For Women
by JBS President John F. McManus
No one in the large gathering of media representatives pressed this new Ranger even though she should have been asked whether she can manage to carry one end of a stretcher bearing a wounded comrade on the way to a medical station. Then, she should have been asked if her natural female cycle that brings to most women such consequences as depression, mood swings, suicidal thoughts, self-abuse, and more that men don’t experience. Did she know that when acceptance of women at the nation’s service academies began, physical standards were lowered? Had she read former infantry officer Brian Mitchell’s 1989 book “Weak Link: The Feminization of the American Military” where he noted that when women recruits couldn’t complete a required run in boots while carrying a rifle, the new standard allowed both women and men to perform the task in sneakers? Many more questions that should have been asked can be cited but none were offered.Having served three years as a lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps gives this writer an excellent perch from which to answer the question, “Should women be placed in combat roles in the military?” And the answer is “No!” Serving in our nation’s armed forces should never be looked upon as a right possessed by everyone. Instead, it’s a privilege, and it should be awarded only to those who qualify – mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Retired Army Brigadier General Andrew Gatsis expressed outrage when the matter of women being given equal status with men became an issue in the 1980s. He stated:
No woman should have the right to go into combat simply because she desires to do so. It’s a matter of jeopardizing the lives of soldiers who depend on all members of the team to do their full share, and of the right of every American citizen to have the strongest national defense possible to protect his and her freedom.
A highly decorated Vietnam veteran, Gatsis had already witnessed situations where female soldiers even in non-combat situations couldn’t lift heavy equipment, drive a truck through rough terrain, erect bulky tents, dig latrines, or construct ammunition bunkers. He insisted that the violence always present during combat “calls for force, and force requires physical strength” that women don’t possess. Current presidential candidate James Webb, a Vietnam veteran, spoke out about this issue in his 1989 article entitled “Women Can’t Fight,” published in Washingtonian magazine.
There are many more reasons why females should not be assigned combat duty. Plenty of opportunities to serve in uniform exist in a variety of non-combat assignments. The current policy that leads to opening every position in the military should be reversed. A likely enemy would send only men while our men in battle would invariably be forced to carry not only their assigned load but also a portion of whatever is expected of a woman. Unit morale, the fundamentally important motivator of all troops in battle, would surely suffer. We conclude: Women can serve in the military but placing them in combat is not only foolish, it endangers all participants.
Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.