Last week....a DoD spokesperson for the Pentagon came up and said that they are working a project to bring transgender individuals into the "OK" rules of being in the military. Course, this would draw the normal average guy to ask....what the heck "transgendered" really means.
Some folks would go with the quick and easy to explain deal.....a guy who wants to be a woman, or vice-versa. In the real world.....transgendered has about a dozen different interpretations. It could easily mean a gal who dresses and acts like a guy, but intends to maintain her female individuality (meaning she dresses like a guy, hangs out with guys, socializes like a guy, etc).
The Pentagon guy hinted that they THINK (they aren't sure and the statistical average is questionable)....there are around 15,000 total transgender individuals in the military presently. Proof? No....absolutely no proof....again, this is just a model with numbers.
I spent almost thirty-five years associated with the military....either as a enlisted guy, a contractor, or a GS. What I generally think on my own numbers....across the board....there's likely forty-odd thousand individuals within the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. By my own interpretation.....it's probably five women for every guy, in this transgender category.
The first time I came across someone who fitted into this category....was at McChord Air Force Base (1980), and it was a female airman in the unit who dressed, acted, and behaved like a guy. She wore cowboy boots whenever in civilian clothing. She hung around guys only. Her attire and attitude....was strictly as a guy. Dating? She dated only guys. She wasn't a lesbian and laughed on occasion when someone suggested that she needed to act lady-like.
Over the next decade.....I probably met a dozen enlisted and NCOs.....guys and women, who were fitting into the transgender philosophy. Some were gay, lesbian, etc.....some were straight.
Does any of this matter when you are talking military? Well.....there's only two issues that I see with this acceptance deal that the Pentagon is talking about. All services have hard and concrete rules on guys wearing a men's uniform, and women wearing a female uniform. Nobody wants that to change, period. The first bump in the road is where some transgender guy requests to wear the women's uniform, and meets a brick wall.
The second problem here is where these individuals want to go onto the next step and get hormone treatments and surgery....compliments of the military medical care system. That will bring up cost issues. When you say that hormone treatment is $16,000 on the initial round and yearly maintenance of $5,000.....who will accept the idea of the Army paying for that? Plastic surgery? A $10,000 round of surgery and a ten-day period of recovery? Acceptable? I doubt it.
Everytime you open a door.....there's more questions and more problems to discuss. Eventually, some female NCO will show up with a marriage certificate for another lady, and the Army will accept that. Months later, they will discover that other lady and this NCO were married in the Netherlands and are lesbians.....which is OK by standard Army rules now, but they are cousins. Naturally, you can imagine some Army Colonel standing there and debating just how far you are supposed to accept weird things, and is it even legal in the Netherlands, or any state....for cousins to marry? Normally, Colonels have better things to do with their time, than worry about kissing-and-married cousins.
Just another day in America.