According to data obtained and published by USA Today this week, the Pentagon has spent nearly $8 million worth of our tax money on providing treatment and support for transgender troops over the last three years. The paper reports that this money includes funds for 161 surgical procedures and treatment for more than 1,500 troops that identify as transgender.

The data dates back to July of 2016, when President Obama approved lifting the long-time ban on transgender individuals, allowing them to serve freely in the military and, furthermore, seek treatment for their identity disorder through Pentagon funds. Since then, USA Today reports, more than 1,500 troops have been officially diagnosed with gender dysphoria. The military has spent $7.9 million on treatments that range from psychotherapy visits to mastectomies to boob jobs.

The published figures come as several transgender service members testified on Capitol Hill on Thursday before the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee. There, they made what can only be characterized as silly assertions as to what transitioned transgender soldiers would do for our military.

“What is the value of having transgender people in the military?” asked Navy Officer Akira Wyatt. “Based on my experience first as a combat arms officer and medical provider, the answer is unequivocally that my transition — and so many others — has dramatically increased the readiness and lethality of every branch of the armed forces.”

Uh-huh. Stehlik was a physical therapist deployed to Afghanistan. Not saying that’s a nothing gig or that it’s not important to have Navy troops doing things other than fighting, but we’re not exactly sure how that relates to military “lethality.” But sure. Okay.

Alas, the Democrats and military officers arguing against Trump’s policy against transgender soldiers do have one decent point to make: If we’re not going to make a diagnosis of “gender dysphoria” the breaking point, then we really are just going back to a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that does not address the problems this kind of mental illness could have on our military’s readiness. Yes, we’ll save some money on paying for troops to transition on the public dime – and that’s important – but it doesn’t get down to the nitty-gritty.

Man, Obama really opened a can of worms with this one. It’s nice to have a president who understands that our military should not be an ongoing social justice experiment, but we’re afraid this particular cat may already be out of the bag.