A newly released academic report from the University of Pittsburgh said that the U.S. Marine Corps should no longer use the words “sir” and “ma’am” in order to address senior officers to avoid “misgendering” drill instructors despite females making up only 7 percent of the branch.
The 738-page report features a $2 million study run to investigate ‘gender-integrated recruit training,’ which claimed that the suggestion would help both genders feel more comfortable in interactions with their peers.
Some members of the Marine Corps have expressed dissatisfaction with the change.
Marine Corps Training and Education Command Chief of Staff Col. Howard Hall had numerous hangups, per the Marine Corps Times.
“That’s going to take some effort,” Hall said.
“Honestly, that’s not a quick fix. What is inculcating in our young recruits that will or will not be reinforced when they graduate and enter the fleet Marine force? So again, we want to avoid any quick-fix solutions that introduce perturbations down the line.”
Hall additionally asserted that a rapid policy change will create unneeded confusion and inconsistency for the service members.
“All of a sudden, we change something at recruit training, and recruits start coming in and using a different identifier. It’s not something we would change overnight,” continued Hall. “Again, we’ve got a history of ‘sir, ma’am, sir, ma’am.’ If we change something at the root level, how do we make the corresponding change at the Fleet Marine Force? So it’s not ours to implement alone.”
The recommendation that the Marine Corps drops these gender-specific responses to drill instructors drew attention from United States representatives as well. Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) lambasted the study, calling it “insane.”
Rep. Mike Gallagher, a frequent critic of what he calls the U.S. military's "woke" agenda, said a study recommending the Marine Corps drop gender-specific salutations for drill instructors is "insane." https://t.co/kwTyaYxgvT pic.twitter.com/PM9W0nG8p5
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) December 22, 2022
The report stressed that so-called ‘gender neutral’ salutations are necessary and appeared to argue that it is necessary in order to respect women.
“Gender-neutral identifiers are an unambiguous, impartial way to circumvent these issues,” said the report. “Employing gender-neutral identifiers eliminates the possibility of misgendering drill instructors, which can unintentionally offend or cause discord. By teaching recruits to use gender-neutral identifiers for their drill instructors, services underscore the importance of respecting authoritative figures regardless of gender.”