In recent weeks, under the Biden-Harris administration, some individuals and media personnel have come out to accuse the US military of being too political as a result of Biden’s executive order to rescind “the military ban of Transgenders”. The only issue however is, the US military had already become political under the Trump administration long before Biden was inaugurated as President, with actions such as Trump making political comments during military visits, the military transgender ban, transferring money from the military towards the border wall construction, and Trump firing Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
- Trump Playing Politics During Military Visits
During Trump’s term as President, he made several political comments about his opponents and boasted about his political accomplishments during multiple military visits. One such example was during his surprise visits to American troops in Iraq and Germany on December 26th and 27th respectively, where he singled out red “Make America Great Again” caps in a sea of military fatigues, signed a “Trump 2020” patch and accused Representative Nancy Pelosi and other leading Democrats of being weak on border security.
He also incorrectly claimed that the troops would be getting their first raise in more than a decade thanks to his leadership, when in fact, the military has received steady pay increases for decades.
- Transgender Military Ban
Under the Trump administration, transgender individuals who had already received a diagnosis of gender dysphoria before April 12, 2019 were allowed to continue serving in their preferred gender, receive hormone treatments and undergo gender-affirming surgery. But after that date, anyone diagnosed with gender dysphoria who was taking hormones or had undergone a gender transition, was not allowed to enlist. Furthermore, any serving troops diagnosed with gender dysphoria after that date, was only allowed to serve in their sex as assigned at birth and were barred from taking hormones or getting gender-affirming surgery.
- Using the Military to Construct the Border Wall
Under the Trump administration, $2.5 Billion in funds, meant for military projects, was diverted towards the construction of the border wall. A move which affected some military institutions and projects, such as the US Military Academy at West Point, Cyber Operations Facility at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Navy Ships Maintenance Facility in Portsmouth, and projects to replace hazardous materials warehouses in Norfolk and Portsmouth.
- Trump Firing Defense Secretary Mark Esper
With just a few weeks remaining as the President of the United States, then President Trump abruptly fired then Defense Secretary Mark Esper and installed 3 loyalists as top Pentagon Officials – a move many political and military experts considered to be politically motivated. Although the reasons for those changes were unclear, many experts believe these actions were carried out in order to make the transition of Biden-Harris administration difficult and to enact promises made in the beginning of the Trump administration.