Good Morning, America! (Part 1)
Editor’s note: I recently addressed the new policy allowing transgender people to serve in the military as a step back a bit to consider the military is a large, violent, and oppressive system in dire need of new direction, inclusive as it may be. My good friend, Moses, at the same time, offersed his take on the new policy, Good Mornight, America (Part 1), below. In Part 2 of his post, Moses responds directly to my initial post which attempted to separate love for our troops and the evil of war.
On June 30, 2016 Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter announced:
“Effective immediately, transgender Americans may serve openly, They can no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military just for being transgender.”
The DOD denying our brothers and sisters in the trans community their right to serve openly in the military was not only immoral but against their Constitutional rights. The military is a closed government with rules and regulations, a different culture which must be respected. I understand that and I get it but what I don’t understand is why it centers attention on the rules and regulations and leaves out the “person” piece in the argument.
As a reservist, I was on active duty last month, assigned to work with an artillery unit out in the field. For those who don’t know, artillery units operate big weapons that help in destroying, defeating, or disrupting the enemy with integrated fires to enable maneuver commanders to dominate in unified land operations. I took this opportunity to ask some ofthe soldiers I was working with what it meant to them having women, trans or otherwise, in the unit.
Six out of 9 mentioned that they did not see any problems having females in the unit as long as they are able to perform the required duties. The remaining members were worried about the comradery, unit cohesion, and not being able to freely be themselves. At the end of our discussion, as a person speaking from experience in the service, with a social work perspective, I explained what change means. Change is traumatic, and it is never easy. It takes time to evolve to get to that kind of maturity. I then brought in the example of how everyone thought the world was going to fall apart or come to an end if they allowed gays to openly serve in 2011. Did it fall? No. So maybe it is the same thing with allowing females. We tend to ‘catastrophize’ situations, which may be part of being human. But, being understanding and open-minded, and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and open to change, not only helps us to mature as individuals, it also makes us live happier lives.
After 4 years in the military, I have seen changes, very profound changes. Finally allowing transgender brothers and sisters to openly serve is the latest of this country’s freedoms, hopefully part of an upward, progressive trend to extend to every single person, in every sector of life in this country, all of the rights promised in the US Constitution.
And this is a fact: When down range (in the battlefield) and the situation changes in the blink of an eye, the only thing you will be thinking about is your buddy’s safety not their gender or sexual orientation. In the military, we adapt and keep moving and I am proud to be a member of the one percent of this country whose sole job is to fight and protect the freedoms of the American people.
And did the Pope Francis just say that the Catholic church should apologize to gay people? Good morning the World…