Military diversity becoming more restricted

Khadija Ceesay, Reporter

On Aug. 25 of last year, President Donald Trump issued a policy concerning transgender persons in the military that has become quite controversial and is still being debated to this day.

He later released a tweet stating, “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burned with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

The tweet would have made more sense if the military was actually spending a “tremendous” amount of money on medical costs for their transgender soldiers instead of lesser things such as the following.

Dept. of Defense has informed the current transgender soldiers about everything that may apply to them like military effectiveness and lethality, unitary cohesion, budgetary constraints, applicable law, etc.

The governments concern with transgender persons is that they are taking advantage of military money to get the necessary money to transition.

The reality is that the U.S. military spends more money on erectile dysfunction medication than they do on their transgender troops.

Every year the military spends between $2.4 to $8.4 million on medical costs for transgender people serving in the military, according to an estimate from a 2016 Rand Corp. study.

Military Times magazine recorded that the military’s spending on erectile dysfunction medications adds up to approximately $84 million and $41.6 on Viagra products alone.

The transgender ban policy isn’t all that new; the military already had a pre-2016 ban on transgender, but under Obama, it was never enforced. On March 23, the White House said that transgender troops who are currently in the U.S. military may remain in the ranks, but the Pentagon could require them to serve according to their gender at birth.

Jim Mattis, Defense Secretary released a memo on Feb. 22 that highlighted the key aspects of the order that would still allow some qualified transgender people to continue to serve in the military. Transgender people are not allowed to serve in the military if they “have undergone gender transitions.”

Trump’s ban not only prevents transgender people who would like to serve in the future from doing so, but it also puts an end to the Dept. of Defense’s use of resources to provide medical treatment for transgender people who are currently serving.

A White House official rejected any statement that Trump’s policy is any kind of discrimination against transgender people and that he is not falling back on his fight for the LGBT community, but Civil Rights advocates argue that the ban reverses years of progress for LGBT rights. This policy is only the start of many other surprise policies to come from Trump, and I fear if we continue to let him discriminate against populations, freedoms for minorities will be stripped one by one.

Transgender people are some of the most hardworking people because of all they have had to go through, and it isn’t fair that some of their only rights an Americans are being taken away from them.