Remind me again: what’s the military for?
We also have a “lack of skill on trans issues”, according to RAAF reservist Group Captain McGregor, who writes for gay and lesbian journal, the Star Observer, as the nation went back to work after Australia Day celebrations.
TAXPAYERS spent $648,000 over 30 months for sex change and breast enhancement procedures for serving members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
This included 13 cases of gender dysphoria (gender identity disorder) including 10 from male to female and 15 breast enhancements between November 2012 and April this year.
The bill does not include pharmaceuticals issued by Defence.
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) led the way with six members undergoing gender identity treatment and eight breast enhancements.
Next was Army with five gender cases and four breast procedures and finally the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) with just two and three respectively.
The circumstances leading to the various surgical procedures is not known.
All members of the ADF receive free medical services as part of their service contract.
Health care for military personnel costs taxpayers about $300 million a year.
Defence said that not all 13 of the gender dysphoria cases had undergone surgery.
“Management of gender dysphoria can be complex and gender reassignment surgery is not performed in all cases,” it said in answer to questions from News Corp.
“Defence pays for some but not all aspects of the management of gender dysphoria, including surgery.
“Equity with Medicare is the guiding principle for considering health care entitlements at public expense for Defence members. These general principles also apply in the management of gender dysphoria.”
The total bill for the gender patients, including surgery, was $395,000 or about $30,000 per head.
Probably the best known member of the ADF who has undergone gender reassignment is RAAF Group Captain Cate McGregor, who was formerly speechwriter to the Chief of Army Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm McGregor.
McGregor has not benefited in any way from Defence spending on gender identity disorders.
Three years ago, at the age of 55, McGregor began the transformation process.
McGregor has received some support, namely mental health and pharmaceutical help, but has had no surgery of any description – much less at public expense.
She has not yet had a sex change operation. When she does, she stresses it will be funded independently with no taxpayer assistance.
The former Labor and Liberal staffer and friend of Prime Minister Tony Abbott told ABC Radio that while the army adapted slowly to the issue of transgenderism, it implemented policies and then “excelled”.
“It [the army] is probably one of the most trans-friendly environments available in Australia,” Ms McGregor said.
Defence was unable to say how many of the breast enhancement procedures involved cancer patients and the bill for the 15 cases was $253,000 or about $17,000 each.
In 2012 the total cost of all plastic surgery procedures in the ADF was $3.5 million for 1500 cases or $2300 each. This figure includes breast enhancement and reduction cases as well as tummy tucks, nose jobs and liposuction.
Defence said such procedures were only approved for compelling psychological or psychiatric reasons.
More from Michael Smith:
From NK, Tasmania, via Facebook, thank you for your service Ned.
There are plenty of activists making a name for themselves in women’s issues.
Only one man is responsible for the soldiers of the Australian Army.
The measure of a general’s service is the regard he’s held in by his soldiers. They need not love him, some may hate him, but to be effective, he must hold their respect and he must lead them. And they must know his primary concern is for them.
This man’s interests were elsewhere.
For that, his name will live in infamy.