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United States Space Force Lt. Gen. DeAnna M. Burt admitted during a recent Department of Defense (DoD) LGBTQ+ PRIDE event that she would allow access to “gender-affirming care” to take priority over qualifications when assigning officers.
Burt referenced several states that have passed laws banning transgender surgeries — and in some cases, puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones — for minors, and said that while she would normally consider job performance and qualifications before selecting officers for certain jobs, she had to also consider whether her troops and their families would feel safe in those assignments.
The @DeptofDefense "pride" event last week gets more bizarre with scrutiny.
1. Here, LTG Burt openly admits she lets supposed concerns over "anti-LGBTQ+ laws in a state" about "healthcare" dictate personnel choices, even if it means choosing a less-qualified officer. pic.twitter.com/O5zc2yku9P
— William Thibeau (@WilliamThibeau) June 14, 2023
“Transformational cultural change requires leadership from the top, and we do not have time to wait,” Burt began. “Since January of this year, more than 400 anti-LGBTQ+ laws have been introduced at the state level. That number is rising and demonstrates a trend that could be dangerous for service members, their families, and the readiness of the force as a whole.”
“When I look at potential candidates, say for Squadron command, I strive to match the right person to the right job,” she continued, adding, “I consider their job performance and relevant experience first. However, I also look at their personal circumstances, and their family is also an important factor. If a good match for a job does not feel safe being themselves and performing at their highest potential at a given location, or if their family could be denied critical health care due to the laws in that state, I am compelled to consider a different candidate, perhaps less qualified.”
Space Force veteran Lt. Col Matt Lohmeier — who was relieved of command after he said on a conservative podcast that Marxism was infiltrating the U.S. military — argued in a tweet that Burt had actually done what he was fired for doing.
“I was once fired from command in the @SpaceForceDoD for allegedly ‘being politically partisan while acting in an official capacity.’ That allegation was totally false,” he said. “Lt. Gen. Burt here demonstrates what being politically partisan while acting in an official capacity really looks like.”
I was once fired from command in the @SpaceForceDoD for allegedly “being politically partisan while acting in an official capacity.” That allegation was totally false.
Lt Gen Burt here demonstrates what being politically partisan while acting in an official capacity really… https://t.co/cghkdMhsFn
— Matt Lohmeier (@matthewlohmeier) June 14, 2023
Burt’s comments suggest that the Defense Department — or at least the U.S. Space Force — is leaning into politics in a way that could potentially be more damaging to overall force readiness if she is truly willing to consider a service member’s access to transgender surgeries and hormones at a given duty station over their fitness for that particular job.
In the U.S. Army’s “Soldier’s Creed,” one line reads, “I will always place the mission first.” Burt’s statement suggests that catering to the LGBTQ+ community comes first, and the “mission” is secondary.