CAP Memo: Restoring America’s Military Strength: Military Readiness or Transgender Politics


Conservative leaders strongly support the principle of peace through strength and therefore the need for immediate action to return the priority of the Department of Defense to restoring America’s military readiness and ending costly and distracting social engineering.

President Trump has mandated that his Administration restore the strength of our military.  We, and most Americans appreciate the steps taken to reinstate the priorities Secretary of Defense (James) Mattis noted during his confirmation hearing: mission readiness, command proficiency, and combat effectiveness.

The process of strengthening our military will not succeed, however, if military service personnel have to contend with problematic military/social policies imposed by the Obama Administration – policies that actually impede mission readiness, command proficiency, and combat effectiveness.

Conservative leaders urgently suggest that the Trump Administration review and rescind the Obama-era policies that hinder military readiness and overall effectiveness.  Politically correct policies have been imposed largely through administrative fiat.  They can be removed in like manner while further study and congressional guidance is obtained.  The most problematic policies in this category are those addressing the presence of transgender individuals in the military.

Transgender issues have become especially prominent since various Obama Administration decisions holding that as of June 30, 2016, transgender service members would no longer be discharged from military service, and as of July 2017, transgender recruits would be accepted into the military.  Obama’s Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter adopted these policies, even though such personnel are likely to need costly medical, surgical, and psychological care that may undermine readiness by rendering these service members non-deployable.

The policies adopted require our Armed Forces to officially assume the risks of recruiting and retaining persons who are suffering with a condition requiring long-term medical and perhaps,  surgical treatment, with uncertain results often associated with higher rates of depression and suicide. The accommodation of such individuals in the military indicates that the U.S. Department of Defense will bear the cost of hormone treatments, surgery, and post-operative care to facilitate “gender transitioning.”

Furthermore, the time taken away from commanders’ combat-related duties while they essentially take on the responsibilities of medical case workers will be significant.  It represents a tremendous opportunity cost to take these men and women away from duties that would improve combat readiness and require that they instead master the nuances of a complex psycho-sexual medical sub-specialty, and initiate or approve procedures  for which they have no formal training.

It must be difficult to suffer from gender dysphoria and confusion about one’s sexual identity, but concerns about these individuals do not justify mandates on military medical doctors and nurses to approve, provide, or participate in life-altering transgender treatment or surgeries.  Many object to these experimental treatments on grounds of medical ethics or sincere religious convictions.

With these points in mind, we welcome the Pentagon’s recent nullification of an October 1, 2016 Defense Department directive imposing “open-door” shower and bathroom guidelines on all Department of Defense schools.  However, continuing implementation of the Obama transgender policies for service members would ignore the strongly-felt concerns of women particularly, who do not want to be exposed to individuals of the opposite sex in facilities which offer minimal privacy.  This grave problem must be taken seriously when the incidence of sexual assaults and rape in the military is so severe.

We reiterate that these sweeping policy changes have been made without any statutory direction from the Congress.

Secretary Mattis should suspend and, upon further careful study, rescind Defense Department and military service directives permitting transgender individuals to serve.  Such directives would include the following items, together with the dozen or more associated training manuals, handbooks, and military service implementation plans:


  • Directive-Type Memorandum (DTM-16-005), issued by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on June 30, 2016, prescribing procedures for accession, retention, in-service transition, and medical coverage for transgender personnel.
  • DoD Instruction 1300.28, signed by Defense Secretary Carter on June 30, 2016, setting forth complicated procedures for changing a service members “gender marker” in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).


Further, the Trump Administration should discontinue funding and directing personnel resources for special-interest events, including LGBT-Pride Month events in June, which do not strengthen military readiness.

Because people are policy, we encourage President Trump to appoint qualified people who will assign highest priority to military effectiveness, not social transformation, to high-level Defense Department policy positions.

We will support officials and initiatives taken to end politically-correct social agendas, and look forward to more changes that will strengthen the armed forces and restore America’s military readiness.


The Honorable Edwin Meese III

Former Attorney General

President Ronald Reagan


The Honorable Becky Norton Dunlop

Chairman, Conservative Action Project

Former White House Advisor, President Ronald Reagan


Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin (Ret)

Executive Vice President

Family Research Council


The Honorable David McIntosh

U.S. House of Representatives

Former Member, Indiana


The Honorable Bob McEwen

U.S. House of Representatives

Former Member, Ohio


William L. Walton

Vice President

Council for National Policy


David Bozell




Alfred S. Regnery


Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund


The Honorable T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr.

Former Domestic Advisor

President Ronald Reagan


Tony Perkins MPA

President, Family Research Council

President, Council for National Policy


Elaine Donnelly


Center for Military Readiness


Robert K. Fischer

Meeting Coordinator

Conservatives of Faith

Charles J. Cooper

Former Assistant Attorney General

President Ronald Reagan


Belden Bell


Heritage Legacy Society

L. Brent Bozell, III

Founder and President

Media Research Center


Ambassador Henry F. Cooper

Former SDI Director and

Chief Defense and Space Negotiator


Willes K. Lee

President, National Federation of

Republican Assemblies


Col Francis X. De Luca USMCR(Ret)


Civitas Institute

Peter J. Thomas


Americans for Constitutional Liberty


Rod D. Martin

Founder & CEO

The Martin Organization, Inc.

Sherri R. Martin

Executive Vice President

The Martin Organization, Inc.


Haley E. Martin


The Martin Foundation

Evelio Silvera

Campaign for the American Future


Nicholas Stehle

Campaign for the American Future

Anthony Allen


Hannibal LaGrange University


Shawn A. Mitchell

National Chaplain, National Federation of Republican Assemblies

Jerry Melvin


Florida Republican Assembly


Rick Manning


Americans for Limited Government

Lee A. Beaman

Chief Executive Officer

Beaman Automotive


Ted Baehr

Chairman and CEO



Michael J. Bowen


Coalition For a Strong America


Eunie Smith


Eagle Forum

Tim G. Echols

Commissioner, State of Georgia

Founder, TeenPact

Founder, William Wilberforce Fellowship


Ed Martin


Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund

Rebekah Gantner

Executive Director, Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund


Judson Phillips


Tea Party Nation


T W Herrick


Herrick Foundation


J. Keet Lewis


Lewis Group International


Ann L. Drexel

A Strong Military for a Strong Nation

Council for National Policy


Linda L. Bean

Vice Chairman of the Board

Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum Education and Legal Defense Fund


Kay R. Daly


Coalition for a Fair Judiciary


Russell J. Ramsland, Jr.


Park Cities/Preston Hollow Leadership Forum


C. Preston Noell III


Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.


Douglas H. Napier

Sr. Vice President, Alliance Relations

Alliance Defending Freedom


Penna Dexter

Radio Host



The Honorable Gary L. Bauer


American Values


Tim LeFever


Capitol Resource Institute


Kevin Freeman


NSIC Institute


Melvin Adams

Past President



Floyd Brown


Western Center for Journalism


Samuel B. Casey

Managing Director & General Counsel

Jubilee Campaign


The Honorable Penny Pullen

Former Ass’t Minority Leader

Illinois General Assembly


James P. Backlin

Vice President of Legislative Affairs

Christian Coalition of America


The Honorable Mike Spence

Founding President

Conservative Republicans of California


The Honorable James C. Miller III

Former Director of OMB under President Ronald Reagan


The Honorable Helen Marie Taylor


Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund


Ken Boehm


National Legal and Policy Center


Roxanne Phillips

Executive Committee

Council for National Policy


The Honorable Tom DeLay

Former Majority Leader

US House of Representatives


Anne Schlafly Cori


Eagle Forum

Adm. Jerry Johnson, USN (Ret.)

Former Vice Chief of Naval Operations


Maj. Gen. Kenneth W. Weir, USMCR Retired
Admiral James “Ace” Lyons, Jr., USN (Ret.)

Lion Associates LLC


Brig. Gen. John Zierdt Jr., USA (Ret.)

USA Forces Command


Brig. Gen. James Mead, USMC, (Ret.)


Michael R. Long

State Chairman

NYS Conservative Party


Maj. Gen Don Infante, USA (Ret.)


Brig. Gen. Thomas C. Pinckney, USAF (Ret.)


The Honorable Donald Devine

Senior Scholar

The Fund for American Studies and Former Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under President Ronald Reagan


Allen Hébert


American-Chinese Fellowship of Houston

RADM J. Robert Lunney, NYNM (Ret.)

NY Naval Militia


Jack Park

Conservative Activist and Donor


James C. Dobson Ph.D.

Founder & President

Family Talk


William Shaker


Rule of Law Committee


RADM John A. Moriarty, USN (Ret.)


Lt. Gen. Sam Wetzel, USA (Ret.)


Maj. Gen. Mel Thrash, USA (Ret.)


Maj. Gen Jackson L. Flake Jr., USA (Ret.)


Brig. Gen. John C. Arick, USMC (Ret.)


Gen. Frederick J. Kroesen, USA (Ret.)


Martha Boneta

Executive Vice President

Citizens for the Republic


Steven D. Brown


Associated Gospel Churches


Maj. Gen. John R. Farrington, USAF (Ret.) Maj. Gen. Tom Cole, USA (Ret.)


Joseph R. John, USNA ‘62

Capt. USN (Ret)/Former FBI

Chairman, Combat Veterans For Congress PAC



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