Georgia GOP candidate, a retired Marine colonel, urges military to reverse transgender policy amid Ukraine war – Fox News

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FIRST ON FOX: A retired Marine colonel who is running for Congress in Georgia is urging the U.S. military to reverse its policy embracing transgender identity, warning that welcoming individuals with gender dysphoria into the ranks may weaken military performance and sends a message of weakness to America’s adversaries in crises such as Ukraine and Afghanistan.

“A strong military is essential to preventing escalating situations like Ukraine and Afghanistan,” Col. Mitchell Swan, a Republican candidate for Georgia’s 10th Congressional District, told Fox News Digital. “Allowing transgender individuals to serve sends a message to our adversaries that we are more focused on social experimentation than on the defense of our nation.”

Swan retired as a colonel after 30 years of service in the United States Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserve. He led Marines overseas, helped direct operations in the pacific, and shaped U.S. policy in the Middle East, according to his campaign.


Marine Col. Mitchell Swan (Ret.) 

Marine Col. Mitchell Swan (Ret.)  (Mitchell Swan)


“For over 246 years our American Armed Forces have fought to defend freedom at home and abroad; earning a reputation globally for military professionalism, courage and ferocity in the process,” Swan said in a statement first released to Fox News Digital. “That reputation was developed by more than two centuries of inherent American military culture, not American woke culture.”

“While we have the best military equipment and technology of any nation, what makes us truly unique among all the militaries of the world is our manpower diversity,” the retired Marine added. “There is no other nation, aside from America, that has the vast mixture of ethnicity, religion, citizenship, education, and language in its ranks. For that fact, Americans should feel great pride.”

Marine Col. Mitchell Swan (Ret.) 

Marine Col. Mitchell Swan (Ret.)  (Mitchell Swan)

Yet Swan noted that “serving in the military is not a right,” so the military holds “strict ‘selective service’ standards.”

“In fact, many individuals with certain conditions, such as bedwetting and sleepwalking are disqualified from military service,” he noted. “They are not disqualified because they are bad people, but because these symptoms are considered mental and emotional issues that are not conducive to combat environments. Gender dysphoria is no different and should be treated the same; that it is not conducive to enhancing military performance or unit morale.”

Former President Trump and President Biden took different approaches to transgender troops in the U.S. military.

Former President Trump and President Biden took different approaches to transgender troops in the U.S. military. (James Devaney/GC Images  |   Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“Military recruiting needs to be focused on readiness,” Swan told Fox News Digital. “The military cannot afford to recruit a transgender individual who will need mental and physical attention over someone who is ready to fight from day one.”


Former President Obama allowed troops who identify as transgender to serve in the military according to their self-identified gender. Former President Trump reversed this policy, requiring troops to serve “in their biological sex,” while allowing transgender troops who joined under Obama to remain in their positions. The Trump DOD policy excluded people with “psychosexual conditions” such as “transsexualism, exhibitionism, transvestism, voyeurism,” and more.

President Biden reversed Trump’s policy, returning to the Obama policy. 

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