EXCLUSIVE – An 18-year-old military recruit forced to shower with biological males as part of the Biden administration’s transgender policies is complaining about being placed in an “extremely uncomfortable position.”
The report was first raised at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday. The girl is afraid to speak out of fear it will harm her career, Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) told Fox News Digital in an interview. Her options were slim and included resigning from her early-career position.
It was believed raising the matter in a complaint could have harmful impacts on the new recruit’s military career.
According to Rounds, the military recruit, 18, is complaining about being forced to sleep in between “two individuals who were supposedly changing from male to female.” The girl also has to shower with the individuals and reported significant distress about the matter. The individuals housed with the 18-year-old had initiated chemical interventions to change genders, but without having reassignment surgery, their genitalia were fully intact.
Rounds said heard about the matter from the attorney general of the South Dakota National Guard.
“He had contacted our office very concerned about the information he had received from the recruit,” Rounds said. “The respect that this young recruit should have received and the privacy that she should have had, she was being deprived of.”
The Pentagon released a statement to Fox News Digital, which said, “DoD policy is that all Service members must be treated with dignity and respect. We would encourage any troop who’s feeling uncomfortable or has concerns about privacy in shared spaces to work through their chain of command. Commanders may employ reasonable accommodations to respect the privacy interests of Service members.”
As for the girl’s recourse for the discomforting living situation, the senator said “her options were not good.”
“She could have basically resigned or stepped away. She could have started over again. But nonetheless, it was an extremely uncomfortable position. And I think this is one of the reasons why we’re not meeting our recruitment goals now,” he said.
When asked whether other women in the military may be experiencing similar discomforting scenarios due to the transgender policies in place, Sen. Rounds pointed to the Biden administration’s failure to meet recruitment goals.
The “recruitment crisis” is partially due to Biden’s “woke agenda that we now see coming down by executive order,” Rounds said.
“This seems to be a direct correlation between when the President of the United States issued the executive order making these changes and directing the Department of Defense to integrate… individuals who were transgender and how they should be perceived within the military,” he said.
“Most of the focus [under the Biden administration] is on the transgender individuals, not on the individuals who are working with them.”
President Biden reversed the Trump-era ban on transgender people serving in the military when he first took office. The Biden administration, at the time, stressed that the U.S. military “thrives” when it is composed of diverse Americans who can “meet the rigorous standards for military service,” and added that “an inclusive military strengthens our national security.”
“President Biden believes that gender identity should not be a bar to military service, and that America’s strength is found in its diversity,” the White House said. “This question of how to enable all qualified Americans to serve in the military is easily answered by recognizing our core values.”
Under the definitions that Biden’s Department of Defense was using of what a woman vis-à-vis housing, etc., transgender individuals may be housed in female facilities even without genital surgery.
There are growing concerns about the U.S. military falling behind its recruitment goals. This year the Army is expected to end up 15,000 recruits short of its 65,000 goal. U.S. military chiefs continue to express concern that if recruiting numbers don’t improve the U.S. will not be able to face the next Great Power threat, or deal with two conflicts at the same time; Russia and China.
As for the next steps, Rounds will be speaking with the nominee to replace Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, Charles Q. Brown.
“I talked to Gen. Brown… it was the first time that he had heard of this incident as well,” he said.
“I’ve already received a phone call from General Brown. He wants to discuss specifically this case. He wants more information. And I will take that call this next week from him, and we’ll see which direction he is recommending should he be confirmed as the chief of staff for the Department of Defense,” he said.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman, Liz Friden and Jennifer Griffin contributed to this report.