As mental health crises continue to impact the U.S. armed forces, a new measure is meant to allow soliders access to related services anonymously.
The Navy and Marine Corps rolled out the Brandon Act to provide annual training on service members’ rights to request a mental health evaluation. The act requires commanders to maintain privacy by not asking providers to share the results of the mental health examination except in cases spelled out in Defense Department Instruction.
But while the newly implemented Brandon Act allows anonymous access to mental health services, the Department of Defense does not just include traditional resources like counseling, but also “gender affirming” hormone therapy and voice feminization “training” in the insurance allotment for service members.
“In 2017, when gender-affirming medical care was included in the list of TRICARE benefits for about one year, at least 2500 children actively sought care for gender dysphoria through TRICARE Prime insurance at military or civilian treatment facilities, and 900 received GnRH-a or gender-affirming hormones,” the American Journal of Public Health wrote.
The same article, entitled “Caring for Military-Affiliated Transgender and Gender-Diverse Youths: A Call for Protections,” has recommended the military “leverage the Exceptional Family Member Program” to ensure “equitable benefits” for gender-confused youth and their families.
Gina Ortiz Jones, former U.S. Undersecretary of the Air Force and former Texas Democrat candidate for Congress, has discussed using this command-driven strategy to move families out of states like Texas and Florida, which outlawed child mutilation procedures. Advocates say “the Exceptional Family Member program, or EFMP, provides a good structure to support military families with LGBTQ dependents.”
The following are mutilation procedures now approved as described by the Defense Health Agency:
- Hysterectomy and salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of uterus and ovaries)
- Orchiectomy (removal of testicles)
- Metoidioplasty (clitoral release surgery)
- Phalloplasty (construction of “new” penis from skin or muscle grafts)
- Placement of testicular prostheses
- Scrotoplasty (re-arrangement of labia to create scrotum)
- Urethroplasty (creation of longer urethra from skin to enable standing voiding)
- Vaginectomy (removal of vagina)
- Penectomy (removal of penis)
- Vaginoplasty (construction of “new” vagina from skin or intestinal tube)
- Clitoroplasty (rearrangement of penile tissues to create “new” clitoris)
- Labiaplasty (rearrangement of scrotum to create “new” labia)
- Facial Feminization Surgery (FFS)
- Gender-affirming voice training
- Hair removal (laser or electrolysis as determined by clinician) for surgical pre-op areas
- Chest surgery and reconstruction (Mastectomy (removal of breast))
According to DoD data, nearly half a million active-duty service members were diagnosed with at least one mental health disorder between the years 2016 and 2020.
As of 2021, nearly 2,000 military personnel have been diagnosed and treated for “gender dysphoria” and the Pentagon spent $15 million “treating” them, including $11.5 million for psychotherapy and $3.1 million for surgeries.