Military to be open to transgender people | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Military to be open to transgender people

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2016 at 12:58 PM

The Pentagon is to announce a new policy allowing open military service by transgender people.

I think the armed forces will survive, even if Texarkana and the Arkansas legislature can't abide the thought of such a thing.

A word here for my deep admiration of the military, which — better than just about any sector — has broken down barriers of race and has also made great, if not complete, strides in acceptance of fighting women. It also survived with few hitches the belated acceptance of gay servicemen and women. The comparatively tiny number of transgender people will prove no more of a challenge, I'm confident.

I was thinking about the military's adaptability and orderliness the other day at American Legion Boys State while talking with a Fayetteville native, retired Lt. Gen. Martin Steele, who once was chief operating officer of the Marine Corps. Like every other general officer I've ever encountered, he struck me as smart and tough and fair, though I really have no clue what his core politics might be. (He DID have some concerns about the physical capabilities of women in infantry roles.) Men and women like him know how to make big organizations work. So this latest, too, will pass.

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