Navy: Allowing Transgenders to Serve will Prevent Suicides

The US Navy began teaching its Sailors about women thinking they’re men, and vice versa, even as they’re deployed in Afghanistan — a nation, incidentally, in which transgenders would probably be tossed in jail or executed.

While the training is probably fairly standard with that previously discussed, most interesting in this article was an apparent emphasis by the Navy on convincing troops why the policy change was necessary [emphasis added]:

“It was a great coverage of the policy and the reason for its implementation. The scenarios facilitated a great discussion and helped me to gain a better perspective of this initiative,” said Chief Petty Officer Frosch Kent, Intern Planner at the RS HQ. “Eliminating a barrier from qualified individuals is essential and it is even more validated if this policy will prevent the increase in suicides in our military.”

To summarize, the Navy is telling its Sailors men who think they are women must be allowed to serve because of (1) recruiting/retention, even though transgenders make up less than 0.3% of the population and the Navy has met its recruiting goals, and (2) it will “prevent the increase” of suicides.

Think about #2 for a second. Then consider these statistics: the US military says of 18 suicides by field grade officers from 2006-2009, 7 were facing criminal charges. Over the past year or two, several US troops have committed suicide after being either charged or convicted of sex crimes, from assault to child molestation.

Should we normalize those behaviors as well, to keep those troops in the force and prevent the increase in suicide?

It almost seems someone in the Navy had a hard time coming up with a decent reason to explain why people who think they’re a different gender than they really are should be allowed to serve.

And if they couldn’t come up with a good reason why transgenders should be allowed to serve — despite the costs to the budget, morale and moral clarity in the military — how hard will it be to reverse an otherwise unsupported social change?