SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Palm Center director Aaron Belkin issued the following statement in response to former Defense Secretary James Mattis’s latest remarks about military policy concerning transgender personnel. Mattis told Time Magazine that the Service Chiefs “didn’t have input” into how transgender recruits would be managed in basic training.
“Secretary Mattis continues to bury his head in the sand when the health and unity of the nation are at stake. When it comes to transgender military service, Secretary Mattis asserted falsely that the Service Chiefs had no input into how new transgender recruits would be integrated into basic training. In fact, the Chiefs were put in charge of applying transgender policy to the basic training environment, and they were given an entire year to figure it out. They didn’t do anything and then complained about it when the deadline came.
“Moreover, when inclusive policy was implemented, before the Trump Administration used the Supreme Court to shut it down, all of the Chiefs reported that inclusive policy did not harm readiness. As he has on other issues, Mattis seems to want to have his status as a Trump critic without renouncing any of the Trump policies he put into practice.”