Blog

Finally, a DoD Concession That Trump’s Transgender Military Ban is Simply Discrimination Based on Gender Identity

by Palm Center | June 10, 2019

Two years after a string of presidential tweets set a ban on transgender military service in motion, fifteen months after the former secretary of defense backfilled an after-the-fact justification for those tweets, and two months after the ban took effect, the Department of Defense has now conceded that the ban works by treating transgender people […]

Read More

Defense Secretary Nominee Pat Shanahan’s Vexed Relationship with Evidence

by Palm Center | May 14, 2019

Here is a column from Just Security that lists questions defense reporters would like to ask about transgender policy, for example: “The U.S. military currently has 14,000 transgender troops serving openly. Has their service had any negative consequences on the military’s readiness or morale?” Patrick Shanahan led the Pentagon group that was assigned to clean […]

Read More

Army Chief of Staff Nominee Substitutes Gut Instinct About Transgender Troops for Data

by Palm Center | May 3, 2019

It became clear yesterday that Army leadership intends to backfill hypothetical justifications for DOD’s new transgender ban without evidence, following in the footsteps of former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who did the same thing in an effort to “fix” President Trump’s tweeted ban. General James McConville is the nominee to become the next Chief […]

Read More

No, the National Guard Is Not Defying the Transgender Ban

by Palm Center | April 24, 2019

We’re seeing media headlines suggesting National Guard defiance of the Pentagon’s transgender ban, along the lines of “Five States Say They’ll Let Trans Troops Serve in National Guard.” But the headlines don’t quite get the story right. There is no defiance going on.  Guard leaders are saying they will use the discretion given under the […]

Read More

The Upside-Down Financial Logic of the Transgender Ban

by Palm Center | April 21, 2019

One interesting piece of information in this report is that the Army plans to hand out new dandy uniforms only after completion of basic training and initial specialty training. Why? Because during that period—measured in months—15% of enlistees drop out.  (On average, approximately one-third of enlistees fail to complete their initial term.)  But by all means, […]

Read More

The Transgender Ban’s “Grandfather” Clause Has Already Failed

by Palm Center | April 21, 2019

There ought to be some rational explanation for why Map Pesqueira, a transgender cadet already enrolled in ROTC, was dismissed despite DOD’s promise to protect people currently in officer training from the ban. But there isn’t a rational explanation. The ROTC policy failed, and DOD is holding firm in refusing to explain (or simply not […]

Read More

Transgender ROTC Cadet Faces Dismissal Regardless of Fitness for Duty

by Palm Center | April 20, 2019

  The transgender ban started injuring people so fast.  Why? Because, from DOD’s perspective, it doesn’t need to consider the accomplishments and potential that earned this cadet a military scholarship at a top national university.  It doesn’t need to consider whether he is a strong performer in ROTC. It doesn’t need to consider whether gender […]

Read More