April 12, 2018

Army Chief of Staff Testimony Contradicts Pentagon Report on Transgender Troops

General Milley: “Precisely zero reports of issues of cohesion, discipline, morale”

SAN FRANCSICO, CA – Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley today called into question a key claim of the Defense Department’s recent report on transgender military service: that allowing transgender service risks undermining cohesion, privacy, fairness and safety.

Asked by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand if he had heard of any problems with unit cohesion arising from open transgender service, Gen. Milley responded, “I have received precisely zero reports of issues of cohesion, discipline, morale and all those sorts of things.”

Palm Center Director Aaron Belkin called Gen. Milley’s remarks significant. “It is telling for the Army Chief of Staff to acknowledge there have been ‘zero’ problems with cohesion, discipline or morale just weeks after a DoD report, ostensibly based on months of research, insisted that transgender troops pose a risk to cohesion, discipline and morale.”

The Defense Department report called into question the medical fitness of transgender troops, but the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association and retired U.S. Surgeons General have stated that the Pentagon’s medical data and reasoning are misleading and unpersuasive.

An excerpt of the exchange between Sen. Gillibrand and Gen. Milley:

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: Are you aware of any problems with unit cohesion arising… Have you [heard] anything about how transgender service members are harming unit cohesion?

General Mark Milley: No, not at all. We have a finite number. We know who they are and it is monitored very closely because I am concerned about that and want to make sure that they are in fact treated with dignity and respect and no, I have received precisely zero reports of issues of cohesion, discipline, morale and all those sorts of things. No.

###