Power & Market

The Pentagon Wants To Affirm Your Gender Transition. But Not if You're Avoiding the Draft

The costumed bureaucrats at the Pentagon we call "generals" have spent much of the last decade enthusiastically assisting three different administrations in "affirming" military employees who "transition" or consider themselves transgender. Openly identifying as transgender has been permitted in the US military since 2016 under the Obama administration. The Trump administration did not reverse this policy but took steps to limit the number of employees undergoing sex-change surgeries and other active efforts at "transitioning." Since 2021, however, the Pentagon has returned to the earlier Obama-era policy of paying for surgeries, hormone usage, and related treatments requested by military employees. From 2007 to 2009, more than $3 million has been spent on surgeries, with and additional $12 million spent on related procedures.

The Pentagon in recent years has fallen all over itself to pander to LGBT interest groups, as can be seen in this military recruitment video titled "Emma," and in the fact that the Navy promoted as "non-binary" drag queen as the face of one of the Navy's recruitment drives

Given that the Pentagon has made it clear it is devoted to affirming these life choices among potential recruits, it would be reasonable to assume that the Pentagon rejects the idea that one's "assigned sex" at birth has any objective meaning at all. After all, truly affirming the transgender ideology requires rejecting the notion that "men are men" or "women are women." 

That assumption would be wrong. When it comes to the military draft—which is presently inactive and called the "selective service program"—the military absolutely insists that "men are men." In other words, the military wants to make sure no man can get out of the forced military service by claiming to be a woman. Thus, the Selective Service System (SSS) makes it quite clear that "the registration requirement on gender assigned at birth and not on gender identity or on gender reassignment." In other words, maintaining the interests of the empire trumps transgenderism. 

In its FAQ on "who needs to register," the SSS states:

Selective Service bases the registration requirement on gender assigned at birth and not on gender identity or on gender reassignment. Individuals who are born male and changed their gender to female are still required to register. Individuals who are born female and changed their gender to male are not required to register.

The legal authority is based on the Military Selective Service Act (MSSA), which does not address gender identify or transgender persons. In addition, Presidential Proclamation 4771 refers to “males” who were “born” on or after January 1, 1960. Thus, Selective Service interprets the MSSA as applying to gender at birth because Congress did not contemplate transgender persons or a person’s gender identity when it required on “males” to register when the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 was passed and amended by the Selective Service Act of 1948 to create the Selective Service System. Until Congress amends the MSSA or passes a separate law addressing transsexuals and gender identity, Selective Service must follow the intent of Congress when it required only males to register—the registration requirement is based on gender at birth.

In the event of a resumption of the draft, individuals born male who have changed their gender to female can file a claim for an exemption from military service if they receive an order to report for examination or induction.

There are a couple of ways we can interpret this discrepancy. One way is to note simply that Congress has been unwilling to change the definition of who is eligible to be drafted, regardless of White House policy Thus, even if the administration wants to "affirm" the claimed identities of transgender military employees, it can only do so much in terms of changing selective service policy. 

As second way of looking at this is to note that the regime's toying around with transgender ideology issues comes to an abrupt halt when that ideology might threaten the regime's prerogatives to force the maximum number of American men into military service. 

Both interpretations are likely true. The "needs" of the empire always come before social-policy pandering to select interest groups. But it's also true Congress appears unenthusiastic about explicitly changing SS policy. 

It's easy to see, however, how Washington could "fix" this apparent inconsistency in policy. We will likely hear more and more calls for the selective service to include women as well. It's already moving in that direction. This removes the problem of insisting that everyone who is a male "at birth" register for the draft regardless of stated "identity." Rather than debate  who is a man, it's easier to simply force everyone to register for the draft. Certainly, we have no reason to expect Congress to go in the opposite direction and make it possible for men to avoid the draft simply by "identifying as a woman." It's exceedingly unlikely Republican hawks would risk giving such a wide-open loophole to men seeking to avoid being enslaved by the regime for a period of years as conscripts. 

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