For those who have gender-specific identities, the U.S. Army's welcoming arms could soon be widened. America's military forces were tough-nosed in the past. Today, they'd prefer to be known as something more gentle. According to Military.com, the U.S. Army is eyeing an administrative change to eliminate discrimination. It is working on changes to its draft policy to allow soldiers to ask to be moved when they believe that the laws of their state or locale do not favor their rights.
A particular area of discrimination that is believed to be targeted by the policy is “gender.” According to the outlet, this change might “be one of the most progressive policies for the force amid a growing wave of local anti-LGBTQ…laws in conservative-leaning states, where the Army does most of its business.” The policy would permit soldiers who claim a particular state is too homophobic, racist, or discriminatory for them to reside in peace and comfort to relocate. Another permitted reason for transfer is pregnancy. The revised guidelines, which sources say were developed in response to various state laws but before the draft of a possible Supreme Court decision that would reverse Roe V. Wade was leaked, will inform commanders that they may make use of compassionate reassignments specifically to remove troops who are discriminated against from their stations of duty. In the case of obstetrics, it's unclear if the inclusion of pregnant women on its list will safeguard these soldiers' reproductive health should Roe v. Wade be overturned.
Concerning the ruckus of soldiers under the Rainbow umbrella, here are some facts: According to a 2015 study by Rand Corp., roughly 6 percent of the military are bisexual or gay and 1 percent are transgender or non-binary. The numbers are probably low due to the fact that the study was conducted four years following the end of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” and before transgender troops were able to serve freely. Gen Z soldiers are the youngest generation of troops starting to join the ranks and are at a higher risk of classifying themselves as LGBTQ.
In the last one or two years, American military branches have clearly changed: “Generals in the Military Call for More Diversification, and Encourage More Women on the Battlefield,” “The Report: Navy Says Sailors Can Utilize Any Locker Room That Fits Their Gender,” “The Report: US Army Mandates Training to Help Dieters Get Rid of Their ‘Assigned at Birth' Sex,” “Air Force Forms ‘LGBTQ' and ‘Indigenous Nation’ Equality Focus Groups,” “Nevada Air Force Base Hosts Drag Show,” “Return to LGBT Stationing: The Few, The Proud May Not Be the Only One in Its Efforts to Promote Pride.”
Many Defense Department and veterans-advocate sources have informed Military.com that other organizations are contemplating similar policies. However, the status of these discussions is unclear. The closest event to a direct challenge from an agency against the emergence of possibly discriminatory policies in state legislative bodies took place in April of this year, when the Air and Space Forces vowed to provide legal and medical assistance to troops affected by laws “being proposed and passed in states across America that may affect LGBTQ Airmen, Guardians, and/or their LGBTQ dependents in different ways,” according to a press release issued by these services.
States across the United States are dealing with issues of gender identity and sex. Recently, we've seen Florida's Parental Rights bill as well as numerous other laws banning males from participating in female sports.
In an interview with Military.com, Jacob Thomas, director of communications for the “progressive veterans” group Common Defense, spoke about weapons during the conflict. “What we're seeing across the board is a small group of elected officials who are trying to politicize and weaponize LGBTQ identities in despicable ways. They're not only doing that to our youth, but the collateral damage is hurting our service members. [Troops] can't be forced to live in places where they aren't seen as fully human.”
It's a new dawn. From businesses to schools to the military, long gone is the age of subordination. The past was when the people mentioned above minded what they did. Today, there's an unprecedented Power to the People. This includes birthing people as well as the nonbinary and those whose neopronouns permit them to be all that bunself is possible to be. But we're asking, “How will enlistees behave when they're assigned to other countries with laws that are not as enlightened as ours?” The situation could even require courage in the face of fire.