Congressman Jim Banks wants answers from the Merchant Marine Academy after the Long Island institution implemented a new policy allowing midshipmen undergoing gender transitions to seek exemptions from their military service requirement.
The policy, effective Oct. 13, is meant to set up procedures for the admission and education of transgender students and those “transitioning while enrolled at the academy so as to remove barriers for those with a diagnosis of gender dysphoria or who identify as transgender.”
Banks, who chairs the House Anti-Woke Caucus, led a congressional letter to the academy on Friday raising concerns.
“Our service academies are critical institutions for the security of our nation, not laboratories for the far-left’s social experiments,” he exclusively told The Post.
“Forcing radical gender ideology on the young men and women who want to serve their country is dangerous and wrong.”
The new policy holds that midshipmen “with a diagnosis indicating that gender transition is medically necessary” will be treated “in the same manner, and to the same extent, as to students with other medical conditions that impact a student’s ability to matriculate, graduate and fulfill their service obligation.”
Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas), who joined Banks’ letter, called the policy “radical” and argued that it would “lead to the exploitation of our once-pristine academies,” which offer a free college education in exchange for future military service.
“Leftist transgender policies have not only infiltrated American colleges and universities but also our service academies – it must stop,” he said.
In the letter, which was also signed by Reps. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Mary Miller (R-Ill.), Harriet Hageman (R-Wyo.), Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.), Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) and Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.), the lawmakers asked the service academy why “gender dysphoria [is] considered a ‘medically disqualifying condition?’”
“We are disturbed by the policy guidelines that would allow Midshipmen who identify as transgender during their third or fourth year at USMMA to receive a medical waiver from their obligated service,” the lawmakers wrote.
“This creates a dangerous avenue for exploiting our nation’s prestigious service academies,” they added.
In addition to the service exemption, the new policy also requires that transgender students be able to live as their chosen gender regardless of their biological sex.
That provision caused concerned parents of current midshipmen to bring the new policy to lawmakers’ attention, Banks’ office said.
One parent cited the school’s recent history combatting sexual assault among students.
“The school has gone through great lengths to try to improve the safety regarding sexual assault on campus and out at sea. Now, this policy reverses the good work that has been accomplished,” they told The Post.
“I fear for the young women that will be forced into uncomfortable positions as biological males with all of their anatomy are introduced as roommates and into the women’s communal, locker-room style showers that are at the school,” added the parent, who spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear of retribution.
“Women of Kings Point should not have to compromise their safety or virtue in order to be educated at the federal maritime academy.”
“No accommodations will be made for them and complaints will be viewed as honor violations, which could cost them their education and careers,” the parent went on. “With a national shortage of mariners, the school should not be eroding their recruitment base.” . . . (read more on New York Post)
13 Oct 2023 the US Merchant Marine Academy instruction memo entitled Gender Transition Policy.
Secretary of the Navy policy instruction memo entitled Service of Transgender Sailors and Marines dated 23 June 2023
Biden Pentagon Quietly Expands Woke Transgender Policies in the Military (pdf – Center for Military Readiness, Feb 2023)
Merchant Marine Trans Policy Could Allow Free Education without Requiring Military Service (Washington Stand, 30 Oct 23)
The Merchant Marine Academy has initiated a new policy that will allow individuals who are in the midst of undergoing gender transitions procedures to be admitted, even if the procedures render the individual undeployable.
Lawmakers have written a letter to the academy decrying the policy, saying that it “creates a dangerous avenue for exploiting our nation’s prestigious service academies.” . . .
. . . Lt. General (Ret.) William G. Boykin, a 36-year Army veteran also expressed concern over the Merchant Marine policy.
“The public needs to be reminded that the tuition for Merchant Marine students is paid for by the other service academies such as West Point, the Naval Academy, etc.,” he told The Washington Stand. “American taxpayers have every right to expect that those who they help to educate will ultimately be a part of the work force in the Armed Services.”
Boykin continued, “There are several things wrong with what is happening at the Merchant Marine Academy and this new policy, not the least of which is the transitioning cadets will not meet their obligations.
Americans should let their elected representatives know that they object to this program and expect more from the Merchant Marines as this would indicate this is to be the norm in the future.”
Jim Banks hits Merchant Marine Academy over gender transition service exemptions (Washington Examiner, 30 Oct 23)
Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) is demanding answers from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy after the federal service academy enacted a policy allowing military service exemptions for midshipmen pursuing a gender transition.
Banks, along with seven Republican colleagues in the House Anti-Woke Caucus, sent a letter to the USMMA regarding its policy that allows “transitioning while enrolled at the academy so as to remove barriers for those with a diagnosis of gender dysphoria or who identify as transgender.”
“The Biden administration’s radical gender policies are turning our service academies into gender clinic waiting rooms for confused teenagers,” Banks, chairman of the Anti-Woke Caucus, told the Washington Examiner.
“Waiving the service commitment for students who decide they want to switch genders is a dangerous precedent and insulting to all who have risked so much to serve our nation.” . . . .