The Biden administration has pushed to make the military more diverse and inclusive by introducing measures to accommodate transgender individuals, but the move could be hindering recruitment efforts.
Congressman Matt Gaetz recently asked Army General James McConville if these policies would hurt recruitment of “men from the American South” and the general responded “probably not.” Gaetz argued that such inclusion policies would negatively impact the goal of building a “cohesive team” and that condoning “people with male genitalia showering with female soldiers” would hurt recruitment of women.
Despite Army Secretary Christine Wormuth pushing back against Gaetz’s critiques, the U.S. military has faced challenges to recruiting in recent years, including a growing epidemic of obesity and mental health problems in the American population that have caused 77 percent of young Americans to be deemed unfit for military service. The Air Force recently increased its body fat allowance for recruits in order to combat the dismal recruitment numbers.
The Biden administration’s inclusion measures, such as the Air Force’s gender-neutral written communications policy, may be well-intentioned, but they are likely to come at the expense of security and American defense. The Army missed its FY 2022 recruitment goal by 25 percent, or 15,000 soldiers, and expects continued decline in 2023.
Allowing men to shower with women in the military DOES NOT build a more cohesive unit.
Even Army Chief of Staff General McConville admitted that this weird force-feeding of DEI from the Army will not help with our nation’s military recruitment crisis. pic.twitter.com/PEAvfUUPkD
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) April 19, 2023
It’s important to remember that the military is not a social experiment. It is a place of service where people are expected to make extreme sacrifices for their country and its security. The Biden administration should be focusing on improving recruitment and retention numbers, not introducing policies that will only hurt them.
The military should be open to everyone who is willing and able to serve, regardless of gender identity. However, its main focus should always be on achieving the highest levels of security and defense for the country, not on pushing the transgender movement.
Erica Carlin is an independent journalist, opinion writer and contributor to several news and opinion sources. She is based in Georgia.