Hagel: Military's transgender policy 'continually should be reviewed'
May 11th, 2014
12:51 PM ET
6 years ago

Hagel: Military's transgender policy 'continually should be reviewed'

Updated 1:37 p.m. ET, 5/11/2014

(CNN) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Sunday that he's open to a review of the U.S. military's policy prohibiting transgender individuals from serving.

"I do think it continually should be reviewed," Hagel told ABC's Martha Raddatz.

"I'm open to those assessments, because again, I go back to the bottom line: Every qualified American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity, if they fit the qualifications and can do it," he said.

President Barack Obama signed a bill repealing the U.S. military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy in late 2010 setting off a transition process to allow gays and lesbians to serve. But transgender individuals are still banned from serving.

"The issue of transgender is bit more complicated because it has a medical component to it," Hagel said. "These issues require medical attention. Austere locations where we put our men and women in many cases don't always provide that kind of opportunity."

A report this year from a commission co-chaired by former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders found no "compelling medical rationale" for the Pentagon's ban on transgender military service.

Filed under: Chuck Hagel
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. usaman


    May 11, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  2. Richard

    You realize of course that doing this will embolden whomever they come up against, who'll think the U.S. army is filled with fem-men?

    May 11, 2014 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  3. kenman14

    Yeah! THAT is what we won't, even more freaks and perverts forced into the ranks of our military men and women who have no choice, and can't speak out against it without risk of court marshal! Disgusting, the level of decadence that this administration has bred and uses in its shameless social engineering when it SHOULD be facilitating an economy that produces jobs and successes, not meddling in every social, sexual and racial agenda!

    May 11, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  4. mike

    hagel, obama, panetta, dempsey, etc. are destroying the military in the name of political correctness. very shortly we will look like one of the european militaries. yes, the same impotent european force that cannot even defend itself, transport its own troops, etc. oh well, if you have kids sucks to be them. this country is on the decline and accelarating. these idiots are destroying the best fighting force the world has ever known. screw it. bring back the draft too.

    May 11, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  5. The other guy

    Weakening our defenses by treating our armed forces as a social experiment. Notice how we haven't won a war since the service was de-segragated?

    May 11, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. Ralph in Orange Park FL

    When I was working as a civilian employee of the Navy, I knew a civilian employee who had undergone a sex change operation. The person had a lot of medical problems relating to the sex change. That was hard enough to deal with in an office environment in a place where medical care was easily available. Imagine how difficult it would be for someone in the military deployed to a Third World country.

    May 11, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  7. thecryptowizard

    Transgender? You're either a male or a female. You can't just make things up. "I feel discriminated because I can't be a Dog-Cat-Goat-Man". What a joke.

    May 11, 2014 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  8. US Congress = Crime Syndicate

    'Murica – a laughing stock of totalitarian humanism.

    May 11, 2014 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  9. Dark Poet

    Transgender.... doesn't make them their opposite sex.

    Gender- how one views on self base on their role in society.

    Sex- what they were born as and are biologically.

    How do the military handle it when living arrangements are based of biological sex?

    Do you bunk Transgender women with biological straight women and risk pregnancy? Just because someone is transgender it doesn't mean that they aren't attracted to women. Look at all the "Transgender Women" who have fathered children! Now look at the "Transgender" man a few years back that mothered a child!

    Sure they can fire a gun like everyone else but when most people recognize transgender individuals are mostly mentally unstable and consider their wanting to be the other sex as a mental disorder as well that is improperly treated.

    You don't give someone who is depressed pills to make them more depressed.
    You don't give a person who is diabetic a ton of sugar.
    And you shouldn't give someone who believes they are a woman when they are a man pills to alter their hormones into making them MORE of a woman.

    May 11, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  10. dinkydow

    Gosh! Nothing going on. Nothing really to do. How about we tackle the perceived transgender situation. That likely doesn't exist.

    Of course, we might consider looking at why we really need to pay $200.00 a gallon for $3.00 a gallon jet fuel.

    May 11, 2014 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. John

    You would think 50% of the country was gay considering the focus by the media and the government.

    May 11, 2014 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  12. Dismas

    Thats it further diminish the Men and Women in the military. Idiot!

    May 11, 2014 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  13. Disagree with this

    Homosexuality is alright, logistically it presents no problems to the support machine necessary to conduct field operations. Transgender is the same way (in some instances, unless a transgender person is on some type of hormone or estrogen replacement therapy and that just isn't available in a forward FOB). I'm somewhat curious about the medical component, I don't know what happens to the human body when it undergoes something like this and whether or not it impacts an individual's ability to function (i.e. pilot an aircraft, mission planning, combat stressors, etc etc). I think...I think I would be OK with transgender service members with some of the restrictions in place on female servicemembers in combat until a full evaluation of transgenderism and military service is conducted. Like homosexuality I will accept and tolerate but not condone.

    May 11, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  14. hg

    I think the ban is discrimination and should be lifted.

    Last year, there was a story I saw on TV about a former navy SEAL who became a woman. If people who are transgendered or inclined in that direction are goot enough to be navy SEALS, why are they banned from the military?

    May 11, 2014 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  15. Romulus

    why in the world would they be able to serve? what purpose does someone who doesnt even know who they are to serve the USA

    May 11, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  16. Nike

    Let's just let everybody serve in any branch or position they want too. Let's get rid of all qualifications also. We can give out trophies to everyone after a battle as well, to make sure no one feels left out.

    It would be so horrible if we left anyone out. War is just a game anyway, right?

    May 11, 2014 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  17. bribarian

    This country has become a complete embarassment. Well done L ibs.

    May 11, 2014 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  18. Padric2

    Hagel said its "……a bit more complicated because it has a medical component to it,". Would that fall into the related story that currently there are vets dying while waiting for medical care no matter what their gender because of bungling and bureaucratic nonsense? Trans people, don't be in such a hurry to not only get in line, but to put your butt on it.

    May 11, 2014 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  19. time

    Really? I wonder if training accidents will suddenly increase.

    These people need some help. They obviously have mental health issues.

    May 11, 2014 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  20. Bob

    I've always wondered about transgendered people using restrooms, showers, locker rooms, and such. If a man dressed as a woman walks into female locker room, how are the women in there supposed to know if he's a real transgender person and not just a peeping tom? You'd have to have ESP for that.

    May 11, 2014 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  21. scott

    anybody poll the military on how they feel?

    May 11, 2014 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  22. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    "I'm open to those assessments, because again, I go back to the bottom line: Every qualified American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity, if they fit the qualifications and can do it," he said.

    This is basically what my then 88-year-old grandma said during the DODT days. She worked in the Bremerton shipyards during WWII and believed that if you want to defend your country, you should be able to; who you loved was your business.

    May 11, 2014 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @bribarian: "This country has become a complete embarassment. Well done L ibs."

    How is fully implementing our inalienable rights embarrassing?

    May 11, 2014 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  24. Harry Chamberlain

    It is now official-The Inmates are now running the Asylum. Does this administration have anyone with an IQ bigger than their shoe size?

    May 11, 2014 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  25. Big Jim

    The continued downward spiral of the United States to third world status continues with the current regime. No one has an inalienable right to be a man/woman with serious mental issues and serve in the military. We are doomed. O'bama continues in his mission of destroying the U.S.

    May 11, 2014 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
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