Report calls on Marine Corps to ditch ‘gender-specific’ terms for drill instructors

An academic report is recommending the U.S. Marine Corps get rid of “gender-specific salutations” for drill instructors.

“The Army, Navy, and Coast Guard effectively de-emphasize gender in an integrated environment,” read the 783-page report from the University of Pittsburgh. 

“Instead of saying ‘ma’am’ or ‘sir,’ recruits in these Services refer to their drill instructors using their ranks or roles followed by their last names. Gendered identifiers prime recruits to think about or visually search for a drill instructor’s gender first, before their rank or role,” the report said.

The report was commissioned in 2020 by the Corps and Corps leadership is currently reviewing the suggested changes, Fox News reported.

However, Chief of Staff for Marine Corps Training and Education Command, Col. Howard Hall expressed concerns with the report during a Dec. 6 meeting with the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services.

“Honestly, that’s not a quick fix. What are we inculcating in our young recruits that will or will not be reinforced when they graduate and enter the fleet Marine force?,” he said, according to Fox. “So again, we want to avoid any quick-fix solutions that introduce perturbations down the line.”

The study said that female Marine drill instructors were sometimes treated as less important than their male counterparts and suggested that getting rid of “sir” and “ma’am” and using “gender-neutral identifiers” would “circumvent these issues.”

“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.”




The following two tabs change content below.
Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

Leave a Reply