Discard the antiquated phrase “Yes, sir!” and embrace a more modern way of communication.

In an effort to avoid any discomfort or insult, the US Marines may soon forbid recruits from formally addressing their senior members as “sir” or “ma’am.” This initiative is being taken to ensure that all individuals are addressed in a way that accurately reflects their gender identity.

The University of Pittsburgh, commissioned by the Corps for a $2 million report, released its groundbreaking recommendation to become more socially conscious.

After the Marine Corps commissioned a comprehensive 738-page study in 2020, it became clear that outdated protocols of addressing superiors were hindering gender integration.

“Employing gender-neutral identifiers eliminates the possibility of misgendering drill instructors, which can unintentionally offend or cause discord,” the study read.

“By teaching recruits to use gender-neutral identifiers for their drill instructors, Services underscore the importance of respecting authoritative figures regardless of gender.”

After an in-depth examination, the Warrior Human Performance Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh reported that… “the Army, Navy, and Coast Guard effectively de-emphasize gender in an integrated environment.”

“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,” it read.

“Gendered identifiers prime recruits to think about or visually search for a drill instructor’s gender first, before their rank or role.”

Colonel Howard Hall, leader of the Marine Corps Training and Education Command, informed the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in Services recently that top brass was contemplating a drastic change— albeit met with some resistance. This was reported by the Marine Times paper.

Among the six recommendations being evaluated by the United States Marine Corps entry-level training council, this proposal is a priority. It remains uncertain when exactly the USMC will come to a resolution on which ones they decide to pursue.

Hall cautioned the December Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services that change would not be swift and sudden.

“That’s going to take some effort,” Hall informed the committee of their intention to transition towards gender-neutral identifiers, as reported by a military news outlet.

“We want to avoid any quick-fix solutions that introduce perturbations down the line.”

Hall confided to the outlet that “it’s not something we would change overnight.”

“We’ve got a history of ‘sir, ma’am, sir, ma’am.’ If we change something at the root level, how do we make the corresponding change at the Fleet Marine Force? So it’s not ours to implement alone,” he stated.

The announcement of the potential amendment was quickly met with outrage online, as social media users deemed it “making a joke of our military.” One person commented: “Any real Marine would not let this happen!”

“Just another reason why I got out of the Marine Corps,” a former marine wrote, claiming: “We are WARFIGHTERS, not politicians.”

With a humored quip, podcaster Craig Chamberlain remarked: “If captured by the enemy, at least we know our troops will be prepared to use the right pronouns.”

Conversely, there are those who argued that the overhaul was not as drastic as it initially appeared.

“As a former Marine, it was always yes or no drill instructor. Ma’am or Sir was only for addressing an officer,” one individual expressed their sentiment, while the remainder of commenters agreed that only recruits utilize such terminology.

The survey revealed that sexism is still prevalent in the service, with male-dominated behaviors, sexist jokes and training materials designed for men – even when women are occupying those positions. The use of only male pronouns was particularly highlighted as a barrier to equality.

For over seventy years, female participation in the regular Marine Corps force has been welcomed. Despite this long history of inclusion, statistics from the Marine Corps University record only 4.3% and 5.1% for female officers and enlisted personnel respectively within active duty roles today – a number that remains disappointingly low despite decades of progress being made in gender equality initiatives elsewhere throughout society as well as across other branches of military service.