Infantry-man - Could this be the end of the job title?
A lot of whacky things had happened to the military in 2015 and if the beginning of 2016 is an indication of things to come, we can expect more of the same this year. We’ve finally reached a point in our military history where an organization whose job it is is to go to other countries and kill people is facing scrutiny because some of their job titles include the word “man”.
In what can only be another ludicrous step towards a politically correct military Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has ordered that all job titles with the word “man” in it in the Navy be “reviewed”. The Air Force on Friday announced that it wouldn’t be considering a review of the names of its job titles any time soon.
While the Army also has preparations underway for the integration of women into combat jobs titles such as infantrymen or armor crewman are for the moment seemingly still acceptable, although there are talks of selecting more “gender-neutral” names.
This isn’t some sort of misogynist argument on my part either, I’d be opposed to any sort of name change for any job in the military, regardless of the reason; it just so happens that this time the reason is that job titles aren’t gender-neutral enough.
Names such as infantryman and armor crewman are much more than names, they’ve the history of the entire United States of America behind them. American infantrymen fought for the very independence of this country, they fought alongside armor crewmen in the World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and the War on Terrorism.
These very names hold as much history, honor, and tradition as the units and guidons under which they were organized.
All too often people are willing to throw out tradition in the name of what is new, popular at the time, or will earn them favor with those more powerful. You wouldn’t change the 82nd from the All-Americans to something that does seem imperialist to outsiders so why go and change the titles soldiers have earned through their own blood, sweat, and tears for hundreds of years.
Pride in one’s unit and that unit’s history and tradition goes a lot further in the minds of soldiers than political correctness. Soldiers, particularly infantrymen and cavalrymen are fiercely proud to be called such, wearing the blue chord, Stetson and spurs to signify their positions within the Army; taking away from this identity would be like castration.
The great experiment among politicians that is a gender-neutral military is already underway, but that doesn’t mean we have to abandon tradition and history as well.