Of the many idiotic plans put in place for the military during this administration’s tenure, few were up there on the absurdity scale with a scheme to rename a number of jobs in the Navy because their titles contained the word “man” or some variation thereof. This piece of political correctness was supposed to make women in the service feel more comfortable, particularly since we’ve begun jamming them not only into combat roles for the Army and Marines, but serving on warships and even submarines as well. The offensive titles included things such as corpsman, yeoman and boatswain’s mate. (It’s pronounced “Bosun’s Mate” for those of you who don’t spend much time at sea.)
Now, following widespread complaints from the sailors themselves, the plan is being pulled back. (Fox News)
The Navy is scrapping its decision to eliminate dozens of enlisted sailors’ job titles, including many that end in “man,” after hitting an onslaught of opposition from the force.
The decision to drop long-held traditional titles and instead refer to sailors by their rank was announced in September and signaled a sharp cultural shift for the Navy. Three months later, after hearing persistent complaints and questions from sailors around the world, Navy leaders are going back to the drawing board.
Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, said in a memo that modernizing the job ratings or titles was designed to give sailors more flexibility in training and assignments. Switching to names more understandable to the civilian world, Navy leaders argued, would make it easier to get jobs once sailors left the service.
But after hearing angry feedback from thousands of sailors, Richardson said Navy leaders believe they can find a way to provide better job flexibility without dropping the titles.
The administration has been trying to describe some of this “modernization” as a simple effort to provide more descriptive job titles which would make it easier for the sailors to get jobs in the civilian world. Speaking as someone who came from precisely that background, allow me to yet again offer the opinion that this is a crock of nonsense. Employers in the market to hire veterans have zero trouble discerning what jobs our sailors did while in the service based on the job titles. First of all, almost all of them with any applications outside of a shipyard already have names which are commonly understood. And even if there are a few which seem a bit obscure to civilians, they are part of a centuries old tradition which makes up the fabric of serving in the Navy.
The military doesn’t need a lesson in political correctness, but these traditions have been under assault since Barack Obama took office. One of the chief reasons is that Ray Mabus has been an unmitigated disaster. Putting somebody with so little understanding of the military in general and the Navy in particular in place as the Secretary of the Navy was a terrible idea. He’s been pulling all sorts of maneuvers along these lines since the day he arrived. Under his watch we’ve witnessed an effort to politicize the naming of ships of the line, amounting to a huge slap in the face to some of our military’s notable heroes and their families. And don’t even get me started on their decision to stop selling booze on base before breakfast. Come on, man… they’re sailors!
All jokes aside, these are the side effects of having both a president and Navy secretary who are not only far removed from any military service, but have little or no understanding of military culture and tradition. We can only hope that the new administration brings with it a new Secretary of the Navy and a better appreciation of the fabric and history of our armed services.