September 20th, 2021


A workable alternative to synthetic soldiers

Wesley Pruden

By Wesley Pruden

Published July 1, 2016

The Obama administration’s big idea, proudly disclosed Thursday that “transgender individuals” — not to be confused with “men” and “women” — can now serve openly in the U.S. military services. This ends one of the last bans on service in the nation’s armed forces and opens a new chapter of men at arms. HMS Pinafore goes to war.

But it’s not true, of course, and it shows the depth of discrimination which President Obama, the man who promised the nation that he would smooth every bump and transform every disappointment into a wish redeemed, will go to please neurotic constituents, of whom he has many. The halt, the lame, the sick and even the healthy elderly are still barred from the nation’s wars. Inability to perform basic physical tests has been declared no bar to women in combat, so why should a 90-year-old man on a walker, or even a 30-year-old woman on crutches, be told he and she cannot serve?

To transform the military finally something the president can be proud of, Defense Secretary Ash Carter invites transgendered recruits into the services because “it’s the right thing to do.” Only a person’s qualifications, to be defined later (and maybe never) should matter, and if necessary the qualifications can be declared to not matter much.

Only President Obama and Secretary Carter, neither of whom ever wore the uniform or heard a shot fired by an enemy know just how men who are willing to put themselves in harm’s way should fight a war. Mr. Carter, after all, was a professor at Harvard. Mr. Obama has no known military service, but wounded his pinky when he slammed the lid of a copying machine on his hand in law school, and Mr. Carter once broke a fingernail on a paperclip he was trying to extract from a research paper at Oxford. That might qualify him for membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars. A body can pay a price, after all, while leading from behind.

Senior officers of the military services, who know better than to try to make fighters out of men who can’t decide which toilet to use, are not happy. But what do they know? The generals and admirals want more time to study how to put the new freedom to pee anywhere in practice. Their objections are no doubt a stall, in hopes that a smarter president will arrive in time to save the proud, the few and the unamused. Mr. Obama will be gone by the time transgendered troops arrive on the scene, safe in a new home next door to the mosque.

The Marines in particular are wary that academic theories, which sprout like mushrooms after an April rain from this White House, will destroy the fighting spirit of the corps. First women in combat, now Marines of indeterminate sex. But an imaginative consideration of the exploding numbers of LGBTQs — just about everybody is expected to change his or her sex at least twice over the next decade or two — and the court-ordered realignment of the “genders” offer a unique remedy for saving the military.

In the brave new world where a man can become a woman by lunch and retrieve his manhood by supper time — he must be careful to stay away from scalpels and other sharp objects — the Marines could ask for volunteers to change “gender.” A good Marine will always answer the call for volunteers. This would exact no hardships, since, as we have seen in the campaign to open up all restrooms to all comers, a person has only to decide for himself which “gender” he wants to be. It’s all in his head, not in his pants.

Women, through a fact of birth no fault of their own, will have difficulty reaching the harsh physical standards expected of fighting men. In a recent regimen the Marine Corps designed to see who could do what, six of seven women failed to complete pull-ups (testing upper-body strength), lift an ammunition can, run three miles and successfully complete combat maneuvers. Forty of 1,500 male recruits washed out.

The little pink secret of the debate is that the only women pushing for women in combat are the unwashed feminists, who themselves would never go near a uniform. The combat recruits only want what the feminists say they should want. It’s not yet clear what synthetic men and women want from the military.

But if a few Marines agree to call themselves women, only for a day, they want have to sacrifice their manly parts. Nobody has to inspect anything. Taking a transgendered man or woman at his word is his constitutional right. It’s the right thing to do. You could ask the secretary of Defense.

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JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.