In yet another indication that the slide to the bottom is gathering speed, the Marine Corps may soon abandon using “sir” and “ma’am” to address senior officers. This is, of course, to avoid misgendering and be more inclusive.
The recommendation is the result of a study commissioned by the corps in 2020 and carried out by the University of Pittsburgh.
Part of the 738-page result focused on integration of the sexes at boot camp. The academics went further to suggest measures to make both genders feel more comfortable when being addressed by potential privates.
The most startling recommendation centered on the removal of “sir” and “ma’am” from cadet’s vocabularies. This mode of addressing of superiors would be replaced by calling them by their ranks or roles followed by their last names.
"The recommends suggest a de-emphasizing of gender throughout the military."https://t.co/grFQI6gH2Q
— Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) December 23, 2022
The $2 million study suggested that both males and females would be more comfortable with this protocol. One Marine official, Col. Howard Hall, expressed reservations about the change.
Interviewed by the Marine Corps Times, Hall acknowledged that such a move will “take some effort” and is hardly a “quick fix.” He questioned whether training young recruits in this manner will carry over and be reinforced when they graduate and enter the corps.
He also believed that a quick change would result in confusion and inconsistency.
Hall noted that “we’ve got a history of ‘sir, ma’am.’” If such a change is implemented at the recruit level, it will then have to be carried out at the Fleet Marine Force. This means “it’s not ours to implement alone.”
The report, however, stated the belief by the academics that drill instructors may be offended by being “misgendered.” Using gender-neutral identifiers, the University of Pittsburgh claimed, eliminates that possibility.
While instructing recruits to avoid gender-specific terms, the report said that it reconfirms to them that it is important to respect “authoritative figures regardless of gender.”
It also commented that three out of five lessons taught to Marines do not mention the service of females.
After paying $2 million for the recommendations, there may be pressure on the corps to follow them to the letter. In at least this one instance, discarding the advice into the nearest waste bin is the more appropriate response.