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Former military chiefs accuse Pentagon of deceiving Congress about transgender troops

Photo: Bil Browning

The former secretaries of the Air Force, Army and Navy, along with instructors at the Air Force and Coast Guard academies, are accusing the Pentagon of deceiving Congress about the ability of transgender people to serve in the military.

The former military leaders say Department of Defense officials ignored internal data to make the claim that medical treatment for trans troops keeps them out of service for longer than other personnel.

“In seeking to justify President Trump’s wrong-headed ban on transgender service members at a congressional hearing last week, Defense Department officials made misleading claims,” Deborah Lee James, Ray Mabus and Eric Fanning, who ran the Air Force, Navy, and Army respectively, said in a statement.

“Under inclusive policy that is currently in effect, transgender service members must meet exactly the same fitness and deployability standards as everybody else, but the witnesses ignored data confirming the success of that policy.”

Related: Veteran & Senator Tammy Duckworth eviscerated Trump’s trans military ban with 3 sentences

“The realities associated with the condition called gender dysphoria and the accommodations required for that gender transition in the military are far more complicated than we may assume,” James Stewart, the Pentagon’s top personnel official, said in House Armed Services Committee subpanel.

A second memo written by five professors from top military academies details numerous “deceptive, erroneous and false assertions” given by Pentagon officials during testimony.

“Both the written and verbal testimony introduced deceptive, erroneous, and false assertions about the ostensible risk that gender dysphoria poses to readiness and deployment and about standards that [the Department of Defense] plans to apply to transgender service members,” they write.

“The suggestion that transition-related care is likely to make service members nondeployable for more than a year is contradicted by DoD data.”

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