". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Merchant Marine Trans Policy Could Allow Free Education without Requiring Military Service

October 30, 2023

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.”

The policy states 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. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) who led a letter protesting the policy and chairs the Anti-Woke Caucus, commented to the Washington Examiner, “The Biden administration’s radical gender policies are turning our service academies into gender clinic waiting rooms for confused teenagers. 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.”

The letter was also signed by Reps. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), 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.). “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 congressmen wrote. As the lawmakers noted, this could lead to individuals receiving a free education from the academy, claim a transgender identity, and then get a medical waiver to leave the academy without having to commit to military service.

The policy also allows for individuals undergoing gender transition procedures to have a “real life experience” phase of transition in which they would be allowed to use the facilities of the opposite biological sex. This would allow men to access women’s showers, restrooms, and other facilities, in addition to competing in women’s sports.

One parent of an academy student expressed disappointment in the policy in a comment to the New York Post. “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.”

The stated reason for development of the policy was to come into compliance with the Biden administration’s 2021 executive order requiring all federal agencies “to ensure compliance with the stated policy of preventing and combating discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.”

Lawmakers such as Rep. Harriet Hageman (R-Wyo.) have condemned the Biden administration’s policies to insert gender ideology into the military, arguing that it weakens the strength of the armed forces. With the ongoing war in Ukraine and the potential for a widening conflict in the Middle East in the wake of Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel, she asserted that “woke ideology and social experiments cannot be tolerated, supported, or funded in any branch of our armed forces.”

“Our world is on fire due to the failed policies and weakness of the Biden administration,” Hageman observed, “leaving our military unable to concurrently operate in two theaters of war.”

Lt. General (Ret.) William G. Boykin, a 36-year Army veteran who currently serves as executive vice president at Family Research Council, 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.”

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.