Ash Carter, defense secretary, said during a question-answer session with cadets at the Air Force Academy that he fully supported a revamping of policy to allow transgenders to openly serve in the military – that when it comes to defending America from enemies, he cared only about the ability of the soldier, airman, sailor or Marine to fight.
“The question of principle we’ve sort of settled – what matters is people’s ability to contribute to our military,” he said, in response to a direct question about his views of the military’s transgender policy, and whether issues could be worked out to allow them to openly serve, the Navy Times reported.
Carter said he’s confident the military could resolve any “practical issues” related to problems the policy allowing transgenders to openly serve might bring, including those related to uniforms and training.
“The only barriers we should ever erect to that principle are ones in which there are practical issues that we can’t work through,” he said. “We do things in a careful, thoughtful manner and I’m confident we’re going to get to the right place.”
Carter last July announced a new military press to allow transgender troops to serve. Then, he called the regulations “outdated” and said they were “causing uncertainty that distracts commanders from our core missions.”
His address to cadets came this week, just as the White House, at President Obama’s pressing, announced new guidance for schools around the nation to open pubic-school bathrooms to transgenders and let them choose which facility to frequent, as WND reported.