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26 July 2017


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Nancy K,

Yes, the poor victim served while draft dodger Bill Clinton was president. Now he/she/ze or whatever the PC pronoun de juour is can use all that leadership ability and victim-hood status to a) run for office or b) fill the bank account. I'm guessing the choice will be 'b'.


Followup thought, in any job, safety always takes precedence over all other concerns. One could argue that Trump's decision places safety first.


"When the war ended, few in Russia wanted to acknowledge these women’s experience. That they were sent into battle, mostly as reinforcements after the slaughter of so many men, was more an occasion for national shame."

NYT lies again - news at 11! No, no one tried to "silence" or "suppress" that information. And Alexeich is a Russophobic hack, who will do anything for the money.


"Russia also had the quite impressively named "Womens batallions of death" in WW1. "

That was the only impressive thing in them. Like many other "batallions of death", these shock troopers were wasted during the failed summer offensive of 1917. The Provisional government thought it would be a great PR stunt for them and that they would "shame" male soldiers into fighting hardly. As usual, they miscalculated.



Half the suicide rates among active and former military are old people like you and me. They just have given up in the face of diminished capacity, terminal disease, etc. A large part of the rest of the suicides are active duty people which have never been overseas. pl



The US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, US Marine Corps. these are all different career services within the Defense Department. The US Navy and the US Marine Corps are both under control of the Secretary of the Navy. The US Marine Corps is basically the Navy Department's army. I am "retired from the Army for career service. I am still in the Army but on the retired list. Resigned means that you left and severed all ties with the service you once belonged to. pl


Nancy K

That's true. DJT was a draft dodger as was Bubba Clinton, Cheney, GW Bush really once he got through free flying lessons in the Air NG. How many more should we list in both parties? Pence maybe? These people are too good for military service As Sun Tzu (the chop suey Clausewitz) wrote "do not waste a good man by making him a soldier." pl


Trump will not revisit the current rules regarding gays in the military, and neither will the Republican Party. That battle has been lost (and the GOP never really wanted to fight it, for fear of permanently alienating younger voters). However, they have to appease the base, hence the current preoccupation with the nation’s bathrooms.

I see Dunford has had to note patiently that there is a chain of command and the Tweeter-in-Chief is supposed to follow it.

Larry Kart

Yes, the numbers of how many serving in the U.S. military are transgender are squishy because the Defense Department doesn't keep track. Here is some further information/speculation from Politifact:

'The Defense Department would not elaborate on Trump’s announcement, including how many transgender people served in the military. Reports have said the Pentagon does not keep track of transgender personnel.

'Instead they sent us to the military’s transgender policy web page, which as of this writing had not yet been updated. A Defense Department spokesman said the policy would be revised "in the near future," with White House input. A Trump spokesman did not answer our attempts to contact him.

Congressman Ted Lieu's spokesman Jack d’Annabale said the congressman got his estimate [of “thousands of people”] from a May 2014 brief by researchers at UCLA’s Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy.

'They used responses to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, sent to respondents by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality. The definition of transgender included "those whose gender identity or expression differs from those traditionally associated with their assigned sex at birth," according to the study.

'Extrapolating that 0.3 percent of the population identified as transgender, UCLA’s researchers estimated that there were "approximately 15,500 transgender individuals are serving on active duty or in the Guard or Reserve forces." It also said that about 134,400 transgender people were veterans or retired.

'Another study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in September 2015 used data from the UCLA brief and other sources to determine that 12,800 service member would be eligible for transgender health care. The study suggested of those, 188 would use benefits for transition services, at a cost of $4.2 million to $5.6 million.

'More recently, the Pentagon commissioned a June 2016 RAND Corporation report studying the effects of integrating transgender service members. The think tank estimated that there were between 1,320 and 6,630 active duty transgender personnel, and between 830 and 4,160 in the reserves. The midrange estimates were for 2,450 active duty and 1,510 reserve duty service members....

'The RAND study used the National Transgender Discrimination Survey and other surveys, including private insurance data. RAND started with a lower population prevalence than UCLA did — 0.19 percent instead of 0.3 percent — accounting for the lower figure.

'If we combine the top RAND estimates for active duty and reserves, between 2,150 and 10,790 active duty and reserve service members may identify as transgender.'

As for Fred's certainty that all the transgender citizens serving in the U.S. military are doing so as part of a "war on traditional America" that is masquerading as a social experiment, Fred's skills as a mind reader are considerable.

Transgender people are people who "identity" as belonging to a gender other than their biological/birth gender. Transgender people may or not be transexuals, i.e. people who undergo surgery in an attempt to modify their genitalia from male to female or female to male. Don't have exact figures, but I believe that not that many transgender people decide to have such surgery these days, especially of the female-to-male variety -- that because such surgery is complex, and the success rate (in terms of satisfaction with the results) is not high.

Old Microbiologist

The funding bill was the real issue. Transgender reassignment surgery should never be paid for by the military. The same for other elective surgeries like breast augmentation, nose jobs, whatever. The military medical system is solely to keep the soldiers fit to fight and changing your gender is a personal choice and nothing to do with readiness. Personally, I think the gender as defined by your DNA (X/Y chromosomes) are how you should be legally and not what you "think" you are.

This was all about pacifying two groups of Republicans the first wanted to prohibit gender surgeries and the other didn't want to say so to their constituents as they are basically cowards. Trump ended the debate to get this very important funding bill passed. He can walk back the Transgender ban by simply becoming "enlightened" as after all there are now 12,000 of them on active duty. But, at the same time he can ban elective surgeries and get what everyone wants and come out a winner.

Nancy K

Well at least those wives and girlfriends don't have to worry that those women are after their men.

Old Microbiologist

It is human nature. I recall back when I was enlisted pulling ambulance support on the tank ranges at Grafenwoehr Germany back in the mid-70's. There was roughly one ambulance for every 5 tanks on the line and we pulled 7 days traught duty. Boring as hell, cold and very noisy. The ambulance next to me had a line of soldiers waiting outside and we hadn't seen any patients for weeks at ours. Turns out the ambulance in question was manned by 2 female corpsmen running a side business.

I rotated to a Troop Medical Clinic in Stuttgart in 1974 which had roughly 2,000 soldiers assigned to our TMC. We had exactly 50 female soldiers on the installation and they were all welders as the installation was a depot maintenance facility for armored vehicles. I might add all the women were "bruisers" which is not too unexpected given their MOS. These were tough and big women in what I thought was very good health and fitness. When I think of women having any chance of becoming Rangers I think of these gals. Yet, every day on sick call at least 10 women were there. Our typical sick call was less than 100 soldiers (unless there was a field deployment then it went way up) so the ratios were all wrong. These were not shammers and the women had serious health problems due to the extreme nature of their work. I realized then that there is a reason women do less physical things.

Later in my career I had the pleasure to command a joint TOE/TDA laboratory unit and it was roughly 50% female. I had a co-ed barracks and I was surprised that there was very little actual romance happening in the barracks (except the lesbians). But, when it came to actual problems of the disciplinary nature which includes drug and alcohol abuse, spouse abuse, etc. it was 70/30 with the women having the most problems. I had a system for our unit (as we were actually extremely busy doing laboratory work) that anyone who max'ed the APFT was excused from unit PT. This was a big incentive but it turned out that the only people who ended up having to do the mandatory PT were females officers and female soldiers. I had 250 officers under my command (of which 15 were full colonels) and 300 soldiers. As we were a tactical unit as well as providing essential services to Europe, Africa, and the Middle East I was required to meet the unit readiness standards so it was a bear to keep everyone in readiness and the women made it extremely difficult. I will say though that the majority of the female officers were exceptional and required very little attention on my part. It was the junior enlisted who presented the most challenges. I understood this well having risen through the ranks and jumped from SFC to 2LT in my 12th year of service. I can say though we always met our ALO status requirements and were fully deployable all the time despite our secondary TDA mission which everyone considered our actual mission.

My point is that for females it was a huge challenge and in many ways unfair to the women to try and require identical treatment and standards. I liked it much better when we had a separate Women's Army Corps and they still did an excellent (perhaps better) job back before VOLAR (volunteer Army).

The LGBT issues just compound already extent problems in the military so it will be interesting to someone in the future to analyze the impact of Obama's decisions.


I am aware of that, this was however not the fault of these women who served under very harsh conditions.


WW2 was an existential and defensive war for the Soviet Union.
There are differences between people who sign up for offensive wars in expeditionary outfits, and people who literally fight invaders, particularly genocidal Nazi invaders, on their own homeland.

I find it quite off putting to characterize such people (I sincerely doubt that you are acquainted with a statistically significant sample) based on their outward appearances.

Also, this is WW2 Soviet Union we are talking about. Additional Soldiers increased Soviet strength, and increased Soviet Strength means increased chances for individuals to return home alive.
Significant others at home worrying about spousal infidelity as opposed to the spouse getting killed, maimed or captured is pretty much the definition of a first world problem.


"Just like when Truman demanded equal treatment for black Americans in the military, an ass end of backward-looking holdouts will whine about buck sergeants and the end of the world. Somehow the Army survived black people, pinoys, latinos, Italians, Poles, and everybody else who at one time was an untermenschen."

So you're conflating gender dysmorphia with the historical struggle for racial equality? Do you know how stupid and demeaning to the Civil Rights movement that is? I have much sympathy for -- and think we should all act kindly to -- those suffering from gender dysmorphia, but sheesh man get a grip.


There have been many multicultural and multiracial armies throughout history.
Many of those were also multiracial. The Mongol army (a highly successful fighting force that was not particularly renowned for its adherence to modern progressive values) frequently was not very Mongol.

As such, one could trivially use history to rebut arguments against desegregation by "backward looking holdouts".

There have been multisex armies, although incidence of women in actual combat roles was significantly lower (female commanders happened more frequently then female infantry).
From a cultural evolutionary standpoint, women are less replaceable then men, and societies/cultures which sacrifices their women in wars tend to be out-competed by societies which do not do so.
There are a number of exceptions to this argument, which f.e. does not apply much in wars were civilians are under more threat then members of the military (great reason why YPJ, Kurdish female militia, is actually a pretty good idea), but it generally holds true.

Available talent pool is not that important, given that the required talent slots outside of massive all out wars can be filled by more expendable men.

I am not aware of any historical army that used people with transitional gender roles.


The exhaustive DOD commissioned 2016 Rand study mentioned in Larry Kart's post above addresses many of the issues raised by commenters on this thread including the experience of foreign militaries; four of them (Australia, Canada, Israel, and the United Kingdom) were the subjects of Rand case studies:

"....At the time of this study, 18 countries allowed transgender military personnel to serve openly: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom...."




So what? Contractors will say any damned thing to get their fee. You have to be nuts to want transgender people in your unit. pl



I thought you retired as a major. pl


Nancy K
"those women" Do you mean males who think they are women. They probably would want the men, or do you mean females who think they are men? pl


Fully agree. The arguments in support of Trump's bigotry against transgender people here are almost the same arguments made against Truman's order banning racial discrimination in 1948. The special snowflakes of bigotry feel icky when they see someone different than them, So those snowflakes need to ban those who make them feel icky. How "brave" of them. Frankly, I've never seen bigger cowards.

Dave Schuler

According to a recent RAND study between 1,300 and 6,700 transgender individuals are presently in active duty service. A recent AP article said that the Pentagon knows of fewer than 300 serving openly.



That's laughable, claiming that the comparison between the struggles of two group of human beings for equality insults one of those groups. The sole premise of that argument is bigotry.

Publius Tacitus

Your ignorance on this is stunning. Discriminating against people on the basis of the amount of pigmentation in their skin is bigotry. Stating that you are not going to allow an extreme minority into a military unit because these aberrations claim to be a sex other than what their DNA dictates is not bigotry. To equate the two is pure nonsense.

Eric Newhill

Larry Kart,

"'Extrapolating that 0.3 percent of the population identified as transgender, UCLA’s researchers estimated that there were "approximately 15,500 transgender individuals are serving on active duty or in the Guard or Reserve forces." It also said that about 134,400 transgender people were veterans or retired."

This assumes that transgenders successfully enter the service and then complete basic/boot in the same proportion as non-transgenders. I find that assumption to be spurious and amateurish for a number of reasons.

At least the report admits that all of this hubbub is over, at maximum, 0.3% of the population.


"Frankly, I've never seen bigger cowards.". Are you speaking of the combat vets who post here?

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