An Army chaplain is under investigation after criticizing the new Biden administration policy on transgender personnel and saying in a social media post they are “rejecting reality” and are “mentally unfit.”
Maj. Andrew Calvert, an Army chaplain with Fort Hood's 3rd Security Force Assistance Brigade, posted the comments on the Army Times Facebook page underneath a story about the new Biden policy.
Biden signed an executive order Monday allowing individuals to serve openly under their gender identity. A biological man who identifies as a woman, for example, can serve alongside women under the new policy. The executive order said “gender identity should not be a bar to military service.”
The executive order reversed the Trump-era policy limiting the service of transgender individuals.
Calvert wrote, “How is rejecting reality (biology) not evidence that a person is mentally unfit (ill), and thus making that person unqualified to serve? There is little difference in this than over those who believe and argue for a ‘flat earth,’ despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The motivation is different, but the argument is the same. This person is a MedBoard for Mental Wellness waiting to happen. What a waste of military resources and funding!”
KCEN-TV reported on the investigation. The Army's Security Force Assistance Command said in Twitter and Facebook posts Calvert’s comments were under investigation. Calvert declined to comment in an Army Times story about the matter.
Maj. Jefferson Grimes, a public affairs officer, issued a statement.
“Maj. Calvert’s social media post on the Army Times Facebook page is currently under investigation,” Grimes said. “We support the Commander in Chief, Secretary of Defense and all DOD policies and directives. We are Soldiers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and that means always treating others with dignity and respect. This includes online communication. We direct our soldiers to ‘Think, Type, Post’ when engaging in conversations on social media platforms and to follow DOD policies and regulations. When our online conduct does not follow these rules and regulations, we investigate and hold individuals accountable if they are found to be in violation.”
Calvert, on his personal website, says he is a “husband, father, military chaplain and coffee fiend, but most of all I am a devoted follower of Christ Jesus our Lord.” He has served in the Army since 2009.
“My greatest desire is to worship God in whatever role I’m in and to make disciples,” his website says.
A chaplain, he wrote in his website, ensures “that each Service Member is afforded the right to practice his/her faith in accordance with the First Amendment of the US Constitution.”
“We approach ministry with the precept to ‘perform and advise.’ If I can perform the religious ministry for you, I will. If I can’t, I will help you locate someone who can provide for your religious support,” he wrote. “Chaplains also advise commanders on the impact of religion and practice both internally and externally to the unit we are assigned to.”
On KCEN-TV’s Facebook page, most viewers supported Calvert.
The most popular comment read, “So, we only have Free speech if everyone agrees with what is said? Or only free speech if we keep it to ourselves? How is this free speech supposed to work these days?”
Another popular comment read, “He speaks the truth. Lord please place a hedge of protection around him.”
One person wrote, “The world has collectively lost its mind.”
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Im Yeongsik
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.