Marine Corps may drop ‘yes sir’ for gender equity
A newly-published study claiming the US Marine Corps would benefit from dropping gendered identifiers like “sir” and “ma’am” for drill instructors was not only “insane” but a waste of the $2 million the USMC paid for it, the ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Military Personnel Committee said in a statement on Wednesday.
“I hope the Commandant not only rejects the recommendation but also asks for his money back,” wrote Congressman Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin wrote. He noted that the Marine Corps “may have problems, but the use of gendered terms at boot camp is not one of them.”
The study, commissioned from the University of Pittsburgh in 2020 and completed in 2022, argues that gendered identifiers risk reminding recruits of negative stereotypes, potentially triggering subconscious biases, while forcing recruits to think about the drill instructor’s gender before their rank – “problematic” in a Marine Corps that is still very much male-centric. The possibility of misgendering the instructor is also listed as a reason to abandon the practice, with the study’s authors warning that this could “unintentionally offend or cause discord.”
The proposed solution – teaching recruits to discard “sir” and “ma’am” in favor of the genderless “drill instructor” – would “underscore the importance of respecting authoritative figures regardless of gender,” the study authors claim, pointing out that half the military has already ditched gender identifiers for training staff anyway.
Gallagher, himself a Marine veteran, went on to skewer “our military leaders” for denying that “wokeism exists in the military” despite spending millions of taxpayer dollars on “woke projects.”
Last year, a report commissioned by Gallagher and other Republican Armed Services Committee members found that the US Navy has come to focus on "wokeness" and diversity more than winning wars.
“Playing such dumb games in academia or entertainment is one thing, but now we are meddling with the life-or-death business of war-fighting,” the Wisconsin Republican warned. He predicted that if “we keep integrating such woke nonsense into deterrence, then we will see more deterrence failures.”