Political Correctness Reaches the Naval Academy

Let’s just say to Hell with convention, common sense and history. As the wheels come off the bus of the Navy, the upper brass is throwing away over 200 years of tradition and doing away with gender-specific titles.

In most cases – changing say Navy Aircrewman to Navy Aircrewperson or Utilitiesman to Utilitiesperson, for example – this is just a ridiculous attempt to make the Navy seem more inclusive. Changing the title of midshipman, however, is moronic.

First off, what are you going to change it to? Midshipmate? Midshipperson? Both sound and are stupid. Changing it to cadet creates a whole slew of problems since the Navy already has cadets.

Secondly, the title of midshipman predates the formation of the American Navy. It is one of the many traditions we carried over from the British when we established an independent nation. It is traditional and carries more dignity than any politically correct title you can slap on it.

Naval AcademyThird, the ratio of male to female midshipmen at the Naval Academy is 77% to 23%. Less than 50 years ago, Annapolis did not admit women. President Ford signed a bill in 1975 mandating that the academy accepts women. Five years later, 55 female midshipmen graduated to become officers in the Navy. Those female officers and the hundreds of graduates since have proudly called themselves midshipmen while attending the Naval Academy.

Granted, some traditions don’t make much sense or are harmful in this day and age, but replacing “man” in titles to make some kind of gender neutral statement is ridiculous and makes the upper echelons of the Navy and the politicians who support them appear to be pandering to the culture of political correctness and ignoring the bigger problems facing the Navy.

Instead of worrying about inclusiveness and social justice, I have always wanted my Navy to be focused on defending our country from its enemies. This attitude echoes statements made by John McCain, current Senator, former Navy Captain and Naval Academy grad, to Fox News, “The United States Navy and Marine Corps have too many real enemies to defeat and deter. The Secretary of the Navy should have better things to do than adding the English language to the list.”

Let’s move on to something more important, such as teaching our Snipes how to maintain an engine. Whoops… does Snipe offend anyone?

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

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Matt Towns

Matt is a former military journalist who spent 10 years in the US Navy. He served in various posts during his career, including a couple of deployments on the USS Valley Forge (CG-50). After leaving the Navy, he worked in management for a number of years before opening his own businesses. He ran those businesses until 2012 when he chose to leave the retail industry and return to writing. Matt currently works as a freelance writer, contributing to the US Patriot blog and other websites about political affairs, military activities and sailing.
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2 thoughts on “Political Correctness Reaches the Naval Academy

  1. What you call political correctness may actually be linguistic incorrectness. While language is an ever evolving thing, there is reason to believe that the “man” in all of the terms you have cited may actually have nothing to do with gender and everything to do with its Latin origin. The following is a quote from the Wikipedia entry for the word “chairman”:

    “Major dictionaries state that the word derives from “chair” (a seat or office of authority) and “man”, a person.[12][26] Some authorities, however, including Riddick’s Rules of Procedure, suggest that the second part of chairman derives from the Latin manus (“hand”), and thus claim gender-neutrality for the word.”

    “Manus” is the Latin root of “manual”, as in “labor” or “work”. It is also the root of the word “manipulate”. Given that the terms you have listed are all job titles as much as ranks, there is sound reason for suspecting that they have nothing to do with gender and everything to do with work. There is real danger in jumping to politically correct decisions that ignore the facts. For example, the rank of “sergeant” is derived from the same root as “servant”. I wonder how feminists would handle knowing that!

    Now if only the military can ensure that males and females do exactly the same amount of work and meet exactly the same standards when they occupy similar jobs, then political correctness will be assured.

  2. I was always taught that ‘man’ in nearly any title was a universal statement as including all mankind. You’re right. This is stupid. We as a military have so many better things to worry about this is no longer funny.

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