Friday, 29 January 2021

Army chaplain is under investigation for saying transgender soldiers are 'mentally unfit' and 'unqualified to serve' - after Joe Biden overturned Trump memo barring them from the military

 An Army chaplain is under investigation after he saying transgender soldiers are 'mentally unfit' and 'unqualified to serve'.

Maj. Andrew Calvert made the comments beneath an article published on Facebook Monday detailing President Biden's new executive order overturning a ban on transgender people in the military. 

Calvert, who is a member of the 3rd Security Force Assistance Brigade at Fort Hood in Texas, wrote: 'How is rejecting reality (biology) not evidence that a person is mentally unfit (ill), and thus making that person unqualified to serve?'


He continued: 'There is little difference in this than over those who believe and argue for a 'flat earth,' despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The motivation is different, but the argument is the same.'

An Army veteran took a screenshot of Calvert's comments and shared them to Twitter, writing: 'He cannot be trusted to support soldiers for another minute'. 

Army chaplain Maj. Andrew Calvert is under investigation for saying that transgender soldiers were 'mentally unfit' and 'unqualified to serve'

Army chaplain Maj. Andrew Calvert is under investigation for saying that transgender soldiers were 'mentally unfit' and 'unqualified to serve'

Calvert made the comments beneath an article published on Facebook Monday detailing President Biden's new executive order overturning a ban on transgender people in the military

Calvert made the comments beneath an article published on Facebook Monday detailing President Biden's new executive order overturning a ban on transgender people in the military

Calvert immediately came under fire from dozens of other people on Twitter, who urged the Army to step in.  

'How can this soldier be trusted to fight alongside his comrades and not betray them? Bigotry has no place in the foxhole, it is a national security risk,' one wrote. 

'He's a chaplain, not a doctor. He CANNOT diagnose 'gender dysphoria' (which I think has been taken out of the ICD-10 codes, anyway). If he has a moral problem w/ someone's choice (obviously!) he needs to leave the service.'


Following the outcry, the Security Force Assistant Command released a statement on their Facebook page saying that they were investigating the incident. 

The statement reads: 'Always remember to 'Think, Type, Post' when it comes to engaging in conversation on social media platforms. We are soldiers 24/7 and  that means always treating people with dignity and respect. 

'We are aware of the recent comments posted to the Army Times Facebook in regard to the ban being removed on transgender service members. This incident is under investigation. 

'The Security Force Assistant Command Enterprise fully supports the Commander in Chief, Secretary of Defense and all DoD policies. The United States Army has a strict standard against any form of discrimination based on gender identity.'

Maj. Calvert now appears to have disabled his Facebook page. 

Maj. Calvert now appears to have disabled his Facebook page

Maj. Calvert now appears to have disabled his Facebook page

Biden signs order so transgender personnel can serve in military
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The controversy comes after  President Biden reversed Donald Trump's ban on transgender people serving in the military on Monday. 

He signed an executive order stating 'all Americans who are qualified to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States should be able to serve.' 

'This is reinstating a position that previous commanders as well as the secretaries have supported and what I'm doing is letting all qualified Americans to serve the country in uniform,' he said in the Oval Office before signing the order. 

'Transgender personnel, if qualified in every other way, can serve their government in the United States military,' he noted. 

Biden signed the order as he met with new Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in the Oval Office at the White House

Also taking part in the occasion was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, in a sign that the military is united behind the new president.  

 President Trump put the ban in place back in 2017, specifically blocking individuals who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria from being recruited, with limited exceptions.  

President Joe Biden signed an executive order to reverse a ban on transgender people serving in the U.S. military - Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, Vice President Kamala Harris and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin were on hand for signing

President Joe Biden signed an executive order to reverse a ban on transgender people serving in the U.S. military - Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, Vice President Kamala Harris and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin were on hand for signing

Until a few years ago service members could be discharged from the military for being transgender, but that changed during the Obama administration. 

In 2016, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that transgender people already serving in the military would be allowed to serve openly. 

And the military set July 1, 2017, as the date when transgender individuals would be allowed to enlist.

After Trump took office, however, his administration delayed the enlistment date and called for additional study to determine if allowing transgender individuals to serve would affect military readiness or effectiveness.

A few weeks later, Trump caught military leaders by surprise, tweeting that the government wouldn't accept or allow transgender individuals to serve 'in any capacity' in the military. 'Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail,' he wrote.

It took nearly two years, but after a lengthy and complicated legal battle and additional reviews, the Defense Department in April 2019 approved the new policy that fell short of an all-out ban but barred transgender troops and military recruits from transitioning to another sex and required most individuals to serve in their birth gender.

Biden is pictured signing an executive order this week. The new President has been attempting to undo President Trump's legacy by signing a series of EOs

Biden is pictured signing an executive order this week. The new President has been attempting to undo President Trump's legacy by signing a series of EOs

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