U.S. Marines To Stop Referring To “Sir” Or “Ma’am”

(Republicaninformer.com)- The Marine Corps has been told that its drill instructors should no longer be addressed as “ma’am” or “sir,” but a top training leader has disagreed with this recommendation.

According to Marine Corps Times, the suggestion was made in a recently finished academic report from the University of Pittsburgh that the Corps will commission in 2020.

The study demonstrates how the Marine Corps falls short of other branches in training men and women side by side, according to Marine Corps Times. It claims that training personnel in three of the six military branches no longer employ “gendered identifiers,” which are still widely used in the Corps.

The report states, “The Army, Navy, and Coast Guard effectively de-emphasize gender in an integrated environment.” The recruits in these Services address their drill instructors by their ranks or roles, followed by their last names, rather than “ma’am” or “sir.” Using gendered identifiers trains recruits to focus on or look for a drill instructor’s gender before considering their rank or role.

The report’s authors wrote that services emphasize the importance of respecting authoritative figures regardless of gender by teaching recruits to use gender-neutral identifiers for their drill instructors.

According to Marine Corps Times, the Marine Corps is the military branch with the lowest proportion of women serving. The branch has been slow to integrate male and female recruits into boot camp. All other branches have already done so.

Marine recruits have chosen to work with male instructors over female ones because they are viewed as having more authority, according to Marine Corps Times. In one anecdote, a male peer advised a drill instructor while the female chief drill instructor ignored her and stood nearby.

It’s unclear if the Corps will heed the report’s recommendations. However, Col. Howard Hall, chief of staff for Marine Corps Training and Education Command, told Marine Corps Times that changing training-level policies is not the only solution.

We wouldn’t change it overnight, according to Hall. We have a tradition of saying “sir, ma’am, sir, ma’am,”  said Hall, “How do we change something at the Fleet Marine Force in response to a change at the root level? Therefore, we cannot implement it on our own.”

During a meeting of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services in December, according to Hall, the recommendation was being considered.