The announcement by President Trump that the US military would ban transgender people has been eliciting various emotions across the country. But this one from an elite former Navy SEAL who also happens to be a transgender appears to have caught the attention of many people.
Kristin Beck, a 20-year Navy SEAL veteran challenged the commander in chief for a face to face meeting adding that being a transgender did not matter in the army.
The 51-year-old veteran told CNN that the ban on transgender people in the military is shocking, accusing the President of disrespect. Beck also noted that there are many transgenders who have served the US army with honor. The RAND Corporation had in 2016 indicated that there could be between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender people who were serving in the US army.
Transgender service members were able to serve openly in the military after the Defense Secretary Ash Carter ended the ban. Carter also gave the US military time until July 1 to create enabling policies that would allow transgender people to enlist and serve in the US army.
Early this month, Jim Mattis, the current defense secretary gave military chiefs an additional six months to determine whether the enlisting of transgender people into the army could affect what he called the lethality and the readiness of the US army.
But an abrupt change in policy by President Trump appears to have thrown all these efforts off course. The ban that came into the public domain through Twitter was subject of criticism from various quarters. The President noted at the time that the ban was designed to reduce the medical costs for transgender people in the army.
But Kristin Beck has since declined these claims. The former Navy SEAL says that the costs of medical care for transgender service member were negligible. Beck also went on to accuse the President of caring too much about tanks and airplanes instead of the human beings who serve in the army.
When asked whether her status had any effect on the cohesion of her unit, Beck was quick to note that such issues would not arise and that as long as the unit was professional and had great leaders then there was no need to worry.
Kristin Beck is not your ordinary soldier. The 51-year-old served with the US Navy SEAL’s Team 1 and Team 5 before eventually serving in the elite Navy SEAL Team 6. Beck was also deployed in 13 missions in a period of 20 years.
She served in some of the toughest war zones in the world including Iraq, Bosnia, and Afghanistan. Trump’s decision to ban transgender people from the army because of medical costs is something that will continue to receive outrage from many quarters.