Senate Wants to Bar Pentagon from Transferring Troops Due to Perceived ‘Discriminatory’ State Laws

U.S. Navy photo via Wikimedia Commons

ANALYSIS – In yet another act of supreme bipartisan sanity by the Senate Armed Services Committee, an amendment to the annual defense policy bill would bar the military from considering state laws in deciding where to station service members.

Five Democrat senators joined all 13 Republicans on the committee to vote for the amendment.

Earlier I wrote about the same Senate committee instructing the Pentagon to ‘immediately’ end its highly politicized ‘counter-extremism’ effort.

According to Military.com:

The amendment comes after Military.com reported in May that the Army was drafting a policy that could allow soldiers to request a move if state or local laws discriminate against them based on gender, sex, religion, race or pregnancy.

During a closed-door meeting last month, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted 18-8 to prohibit the Pentagon from using the “agreement or disagreement of a member of the Armed Forces with the State laws and regulations applicable to any duty station when determining the duty assignment of the member.”

And the mostly bipartisan logic was spot on. In an emailed statement to Military.com, a spokesperson for Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, the amendment’s sponsor, said:

Allowing our service members to veto the needs of the service because they disagree with state or local laws could lead to a sorting of the military along ideological lines that would devastate readiness, unit cohesion, and the American people’s respect for their military.

The spokesperson added that the amendment is meant “to preemptively tell the Department of Defense that individual service members should not have veto power over their duty station assignment because they disagree with laws and regulations in the state or community in which they are being assigned.”

Miltary.com explained that:

The vote added the language to the committee’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA. While the committee released a summary of the bill last month, it did not release the full text until Monday.

The bill must still be voted on by the full Senate and then reconciled with the House’s version of the NDAA before becoming law.

The Left has been shrieking over state laws such as the one in Florida restricting the discussion of sexual topics to school children younger than eight, falsely labeling them anti-LGBTQ, despite the clear focus on protecting young children, not ‘targeting’ anyone.

But after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, they have added abortion rights to their list of reasons troops should be able to be transferred to another state.

After the Supreme Court decision, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the department was “evaluating our policies to ensure we continue to provide seamless access to reproductive health care as permitted by federal law.”

Though, as Military.com notes, “the length of time it takes to transfer duty stations would make it difficult for a woman to relocate between finding out she’s pregnant and having the pregnancy come to term.”

Democrat Sen. Tim Kaine, of Virginia said he supported the amendment because troops need to be stationed wherever they are most needed for the defense of the country, noting: “… ultimately military personnel officials make the decisions best for the defense mission. That is as it should be.” ADN


Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank. - paulcrespo.substack.com - PAULCRESPO.COM

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