Where the military is cutting spending – and where they are increasing spending – has some people who love the military seeing red.
A news release in the Military Times last month announced cuts in the military’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation Services programs that will affect soldiers and families around the world.
Beginning October 1, the Army is implementing a $105 million cut in recreational services. They’re closing fitness centers, reducing hours of operation at other gyms, fitness centers, and libraries, closing some pools and golf courses, reducing hours of operation for auto crafts center, and adding fees for other pools and other recreation activities.
The Navy has also eliminated most arts and crafts centers, auto skills centers and wood hobby shops.
In addition to that, the Army is intending to eliminate 339 positions in Army Community Services over the next two years, impacting programs such as relocation, financial assistance and spouse employment.
Lt. Gen. Kenneth R. Dahl, commanding general of the Army Installation Management Command, said “this is something that has to be done in order for us to remain combat ready and to invest in our readiness. When we have fewer resources, the cuts have to be taken from somewhere.”
Now for the additional spending announcement…
Also effective October 1, the military will start paying for gender reassignment treatments and surgeries for eligible soldiers – at an estimated cost of $2.4 million to $8.4 million per year, according to a story in USA Today.
A study conducted by the RAND Corp. estimates there are between 1,320 to 6,630 transgender active service members, and out of those, an estimated 30 to 140 would like hormone treatment, and 25 to 130 would want surgery.
The military service members with “gender dysphoria” will receive therapy, hormone treatments and gender reassignment surgeries through the military health program, Tricare, either at a military hospital or a private hospital.
The Defense Department policy states if a service member’s ability to serve is hindered by a “medical condition or medical treatment related to their gender identity,” they will be treated.
No matter that a gender reassignment surgery will put them out of service for several months – one official said the treatment will avoid more serious conditions that could occur, if left untreated, including suicide.
One former troop, Pvt. Chelsea Manning, who is serving 35 years in prison for leaking national security secrets, has been assured by the Army that she will still receive gender reassignment surgery while in prison, paid in full by the U.S. military.
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