The US Marines may remove the “man” from “rifleman” as the Corps’ top leaders consider gender-neutral job titles for all Marine positions.
According to Marine Corps Times, the branch is conducting a sweeping review of occupational specialty titles on the heels of Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus’ January directive to remove the word “man” from all titles.
Marine Pentagon spokesman Captain Philip Kulczewski told Marine Times that Mabus’ directive is to ensure that all job titles are gender-neutral as ground combat jobs were opened to women.
Kulczewski declined to say which titles would change, when the review would conclude or what the new names may end up being, citing that the review is still ongoing. Likewise, Mabus spokesman Navy Captain Patrick McNally also declined to comment on the status of the Naval Department’s reviews.
“(Mabus) has met with leadership from both services on the issue and we will have an announcement on a way ahead at the appropriate time,” McNally said.
Initially, the Navy’s stance was that terms like “rifleman” or “assaultman” would be left alone, with Mabus only changing the gender as a standalone phrase such as “reconnaissance man.” However, a Marine official with knowledge of the Mabus review said “every single title” is being looked at for change.
“As we achieve full integration of the force … this is an opportunity to update the position titles and descriptions themselves to demonstrate through this language that women are included in these MOSs,” Mabus wrote in the January order. “Please review the position titles throughout the Marine Corps and ensure that they are gender-integrated as well, removing ‘man’ from the titles and provide a report to me as soon as is practicable.”
The Navy may take the review one step further, changing terms like “yeoman” to “administrative specialist.”
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