Three former military surgeons general are calling the Trump administration’s claims at the complexity of training personnel to accept and process transgender recruits “suspicious” in a report released Monday by the Palm Center.
“Beyond former leaders’ confirmation that DOD completed most preparatory work by the time of the transition, the administration’s claims are suspicious because training recruiters and medical evaluators to process applications from transgender candidates is neither complicated nor time-consuming,” the retired officers wrote in the paper.
The report was written by retired Vice Adm. Donald Arthur, surgeon general of the Navy from 2004 to 2007; retired Maj. Gen. Gale Pollock, acting surgeon general of the Army in 2007; and retired Adm. Alan Steinman, the Coast Guard’s equivalent of a surgeon general from 1993 to 1997.
Following court orders, the Pentagon will begin accepting transgender recruits into the military on Jan. 1.
The Trump administration said such a deadline would “impose extraordinary burdens” on recruiters.
However, the former military surgeons general said in their report Monday that recruiters do not need any additional training.
“Recruiters require no training to process transgender applicants, because the only points recruiters need to understand are that qualified transgender people are permitted to serve, and that recruiters should process their paperwork the same way they process paperwork for everyone else,” they wrote. “According to one of the nation’s top experts in accession policies and practices, sending a one-page instruction to all recruiting stations would suffice if it has not already been done.”
The Hill added:
Medical evaluators, the former surgeons general added, do not need in depth training because they are already well-versed in assessing medical fitness, and conditions associated with gender dysphoria, such as hormone treatments and surgical recovery, are not unique.
The training that medical evaluators do need, the analysis said, could take a little as four hours.
“The training includes a slide show; discussions of accession regulations, definition and diagnosis of gender dysphoria, and effects of medical treatments; and a period for questions and answers,” they wrote. “Even if DOD had not completed most preparation for the lifting of the accession ban almost one year ago, training personnel to process transgender applicants would not be difficult or time-consuming.”