That same excuse— fitness — was used for years to keep women out of the service… and then to restrict them to the WAC, WAVE and WAF… and then to limit them to non-combat positions… and then, as something of a last bastion, from special forces. In time, that came to an end, and our services are the better for it.
It’s also worth remembering that for many long years, black soldiers were seen as unfit for command, on the arbitrary basis that they were black and too many white people didn’t think they had the mental capacity to command troops. That mindset thankfully went away too.
And of course “screwed up in the head” was used to remove gay and lesbian soldiers from the service… despite longstanding evidence that they were good soldiers, despite the Rand Corporation’s own study that supported that same conclusion, and despite dozens of other forces around the world that did just fine with them. Again, that finally went away, and we’re no worse for it.
Now we’re at the same point with transgender soldiers. They serve just fine, with distinction, in the UK. They serve with bravery and valor in the Israeli Defense Forces, and I dare you to tell the IDF that they’re anything but a top-rate outfit. Likewise Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, and Sweden. And as usual, unit cohesion and standards are the lines trotted out to try to prevent their service in the U.S.
Somehow, I think we’ll get past this just fine. Transgender soldiers will meet the same fitness requirements that all other soldiers are required to maintain, and those who do not will be separated from service just as anyone else who cannot. And our military will continue to be strong.