Veterans Roundup: SCOTUS Makes Moves on Transgender Troops, Studying Women in the Draft, and More

Posted by Fred Wellman

Pentagon: No changes to policy on transgender troops, for now
Tara Copp | MilitaryTimes
It’s been a whirlwind week in DC with the government shutdown continuing and other drama. Tuesday the Supreme Court announced a 5-4 decision authorizing the Trump Administration to implement its new guidance for transgender personnel’s military service which has been called a ban by most everyone familiar with it. The Department of Justice issued a triumphant news release did DoD with an unsigned statement expressing pleasure in the ruling. That offputting statement was followed a day later with clarification that in spite of the SCOTUS ruling at least one court injunction remained in place from lower courts preventing the Pentagon from moving forward with implementing undefined efforts to remove or stop recruiting transgender individuals. In the end, nothing has changed as multiple lawsuits work their ways through the courts but this moment highlighted once again the political mess the issue has become and its lack of any scientific research or actual experience that says that transgender Americans hurt unit lethality or capability. It is already up to the commander of a unit as to when an individual can begin transition efforts based on mission needs and the total cost for all of the military for any year of medical costs is only around $5,5 million. Basically, a wheel on an F-35. 18 countries already have allowed transgender service without incident. So, we go back to waiting on the courts while thousands of volunteers putting their lives on the line remain in limbo. — Fred Wellman, CEO and Founder of ScoutComms

Should women be required to register for the draft? Commission likely to recommend big changes
Gregory Korte | USA TODAY
While most Americans, especially those born after the Vietnam War ended, rarely think about a potential draft, we still live in a country where men ages 18-25 must register for Selective Service, making them eligible for a military draft. For the last few years, the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service has been exploring the issue and asking questions about whether the draft should still remain a possibility and whether women should be added to the Selective Service rolls. Beyond that, it has been looking at ways to increase overall participation in military, national, and public service. This week the Commission released its interim report, which offers no proposed solutions, but identifies a range of potential options that it will continue exploring through 2020. It seems clear that one option—eliminating Selective Service—is off the table. Beyond that, the Commission is looking at options including establishing mandatory universal service, expanding Selective Service to include women, and actions that would increase Americans’ interest in service. The Commission’s final report is due in March 2020, and could recommend some significant changes. At that point, the report could either be tabled and forgotten, depending on the political trends and government willpower to implement change, or it could signal the beginning of a consequential shift in how we view service and how we decide who must serve.  — Brian Wagner, COO of ScoutComms

Green Beret, two language specialists, SEAL-turned-DIA civilian among dead in ISIS-claimed Syria bombing
Corey Dickstein, Claudia Grisales and Chad Garland | Stars and Stripes
An ISIS-claimed bombing in a Syrian restaurant on Wednesday took the lives of an Army Green Beret and a former Navy SEAL, along with a Navy linguist and an American contractor working as interpreter. This was the deadliest incident since combat operations began on the ground in Syria in 2015.

Zap: How Electric Therapy Is Curing Navy SEALs of PTSD…And Could Remake Brain Science
Patrick Tucker | Defense One
Newport Brain Research is the company behind the innovation of Magnetic EEG/ECG-guided Resonant Therapy, or MeRT, that’s helping U.S. Special Operations Forces personnel recover from the effects of PTSD. Though FDA clinical trials are still underway, it is potentially one of the biggest breakthroughs in mental health treatment since the EEG.

New House Armed Services committee sees an influx of veterans, women
Leo Shane III and Joe Gould | Military Times
The House Armed Services committee has added 18 new members, with more veterans on this year’s committee from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan than ever before. These new members also bring the committee to its largest number of female veterans to date.

VA Inspector General Cites Poor Oversight of College Programs Approved for GI Benefits
Ashley A. Smith | Inside Higher Ed
An audit released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General reviewed the Veterans Benefits Administration’s oversight of education and training. The report showed that federal tuition and fee payments made through the Post-9/11 GI Bill have gone to “ineligible or potentially ineligible” schools.

Fred Wellman

Fred Wellman, President ScoutComms, brings us his weekly review of veteran news via The Scout Report. Fred served over twenty years as an Army officer in both aviation and public affairs. Follow Fred on Twitter @ScoutComms

This entry was posted on Monday, January 28, 2019 2:22 pm

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