It’s official. Transgenders are now free to serve openly in the American military. It would be easy to see this issue in a vacuum. However when we take a closer look, it is merely the most recent step in a process that has transformed our Armed Forces. The military, which is and should be a rigidly hierarchical organization, is being fashioned to reflect more closely societal trends that seek to abolish every legitimate inequality.
Allowing those confused about their sex to serve alongside men of honor stems from an ideological egalitarianism that can be traced all the way back to the Civil War.
The Liberal Civilian World Clashes with Non-liberal Military
T. R. Ferenbeck sheds light on how this happened, in his book This Kind of War. After the Civil War, he explains, society became more liberal, which led the non-liberal Army to become increasingly alienated. While this might have represented some degree of conflict, no one was concerned, because the Constitution granted Congress absolute authority over the military.
“There was and is no danger of military domination of the nation,” Mr. Ferenbeck continues. “The danger has always been the other way around—the liberal society, in its heart, wants not only domination of the military, but acquiescence of the military toward the liberal view of life.”
The relationship between the civil and military spheres changed in 1945. With the Allied victory over Nazism, soldiers suddenly became popular. It was inevitable that this would affect those in the officer ranks.
“Humanly, the generals liked the acclaim,” Mr. Ferenbeck reasons. “And when, as usual after all our wars, there came a great civilian clamor to change all the things in the army the civilians hadn’t liked, humanly, the generals could not find it in their hearts to [say no]. …Since Americans were by nature egalitarian, the Army had better go that route too.”
This laid the groundwork for the Doolittle Board of 1945.
The Doolittle Board
Named after Gen. Jimmy Doolittle, a World War II Veteran and Medal of Honor recipient, this board, according to Lt. Col. Robert Heinl,1 was a “military example of egalitarianism at work.… However well intended, it spearheaded a grossly misdirected drive to commingle officers, on a footing of indistinguishable equality, with the men they were supposed to lead. The Russians, who had long since realized the folly of egalitarianism in a military organization, laughed at the Doolittle Board (and undoubtedly did everything in their power to egg it on).”
So when the Doolittle Board met in 1945, Mr. Ferenback says, “They listened to less than half a hundred complaints and made recommendations. The so-called “caste system” of the Army was modified.”
In short, officers were told to be just “one of the guys.” In particular, this meant that junior officers, who “had a great deal of their power to discipline taken away from them,” “could no longer inflict any real punishment.”2
In July 1948, President Truman signed Executive Order 9981. It called for “equality of treatment and opportunity for persons in the Armed Forces without regards to race, color, religion or national origin.”3 While this order was aimed at segregation, it established an “advisory committee… to examine the rules, procedures and practices of the Armed Services in order to determine in what respect such rules, procedures and practices may be altered or improved.”
The consequences of these measures during the Korean War were catastrophic because officers were simply unable to train soldiers and Marines adequately for the realities of combat.
This experimentation in egalitarianism continued during the Vietnam War with the disastrous implementation of Robert McNamara’s4 “Project 100,000.” A New York Times article described it as “a program intended to help the approximately 300,000 men who annually failed the Armed Forces Qualification Test for reasons of aptitude.
5 Mr. McNamara’s dumbing down plan was to absorb the nation’s “subterranean poor” who would otherwise be rejected. 354,000 volunteered for the Project.
Recruiters searched slums and southern hill country to fill their quotas, accepting some young men with I.Q.s below what is considered legally as retarded. Whereas the minimum passing score on the Armed Forces Qualification Test had been 31 out of 100, Project 100,000 accepted those with scores as low as 10, provided they came from poverty-stricken areas. Soldiers gave this ragtag group the nickname of the “Moron Corps.”
This continued tampering with the military had consequences similar to what occurred in the Korean War. Men unsuited for military life and who lacked the skills necessary for war were nonetheless given a one-way ticket to Vietnam, where they fought and died in disproportionate numbers.
The leveling trend continued into the seventies with steps being taken that would eventually allow open homosexuals to serve alongside our nation’s warriors—in the name of equality.
Homosexuals in the Military
In November 1972, Army Regulation 635-2006 provided the grounds for which a soldier would be separated from the Army. Whereas “homosexual acts” were grounds for expulsion “sexual orientation [our emphasis] is not a bar to continued service.”
Only three years later, acceptance of orientation led to the Armed Forces providing an honorable discharge for Sergeant Leonard Matlovich, an open homosexual. He earned himself a front cover spot with Time magazine,7 became a poster child for full acceptance of homosexuals in the military and ultimately paved the way for Staff Sergeant Miriam Ben-Shalom. She openly declared, in May of 1980, that she was a lesbian. Her discharge was overturned by a federal district court which stated the action violated her first amendment rights.
When elected in 1992, President Clinton vowed to repeal the law barring homosexuals from serving in the military. This move was opposed so strongly within the ranks and in public opinion, that Clinton was unable to change the law and resigned himself to a compromise. He devised a policy that became known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). This guideline did not change the law, however. It simply forbade military personnel from asking the inconvenient question regarding sexuality.
The egalitarian step President Clinton was unable to implement was taken by President Barrack Obama with the legislative repeal of DADT in 2010. Those lauding the admission of open homosexuals into the military did so under the LGBT banner, and the “T” part of that acronym announced what the next step would be. It was obviously the camel getting its nose under the tent.
In announcing this latest step, on June 30, 2016, it is not surprising that Secretary of Defense Ash Carter would ideologically twist Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution into, “Embedded within our Constitution is that very principle, that all Americans are free and equal. And we as an Army are sworn to protect and defend that very principle. And we are sworn to even die for that principle. So if we in uniform are willing to die for that principle, then we in uniform should be willing to live by that principle.”8 The transgendered will now receive the same red carpet treatment and legal protection as their ideological alter egos.
We would be remiss in this analysis were we not to mention the inclusion of women into all combat positions. When this was first proposed in 1992, Marine Corps legend Col. John Ripley testified against it before a Presidential Commission. He deserved the title given to him in his biography, An American Knight, since he personified all that is good in the Armed Forces, most especially the virtue of honor. It was this lofty principle which led him to abhor the idea of sending “our daughters, our sisters, our mothers off to the stinking filth of ground combat.”
Honor is completely absent from the egalitarian subversion of our military, yet it is central to everything that touches the profession of arms. Col. Ripley recalled this beautiful virtue when he spoke out against allowing open homosexuals to serve in the military: “By making this change,” he said, “…you are attacking our personal integrity, you are attacking our honor, and no military organization can exist without honor and personal integrity.”
As the egalitarian revolution marches on we cannot help but remember the final words of Madame Marie-Jeanne Roland. She was a Girondin supporter of the French Revolution and its trilogy, Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity, but both she and her wealthy husband were later deemed insufficiently revolutionary and condemned to the guillotine. On the way to the scaffold she saw a statue of the goddess Liberty and exclaimed, “O Liberty! What crimes are committed in your name!”
Appalled by egalitarianism’s devastations in our military we could say, “Oh equality! What infamies are committed in your name!”
- T.R. Ferenbach, This Kind of War: The Classic Korean War History, (Washington, D.C.; Brassey’s, 1963)
- Secretary of Defense under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson
- “Remarks on Ending the Ban on Transgender Service in the U.S. Military, As Delivered by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Pentagon Briefing Room, June 30, 2016,” http://www.defense.gov/News/Speeches/Speech-View/Article/821833/remarks-on-ending-the-ban-on-transgender-service-in-the-us-military, accessed July 5, 2016.