A few months ago the Navy announced that it wanted to “modernize” the job titles for enlisted sailors, largely because it wanted to remove the ever-offensive “man” from many of the descriptions. The sailors hated it, didn’t stop complaining, and finally prevailed.
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.
While offering excuses for this unwanted modernization, the higher-ups were making it seem as if being called “Yeoman” while in the Navy was a severe impediment to getting work in the civilian world. Maybe it was if the person doing the hiring was an angry feminist, but it probably wasn’t something that necessitated an internal review in an entire branch of the military.
A tradition-rich fighting force tasked with protecting a great nation shouldn’t be subjected to the caprice of delicate civilians who are engaged in a social crusade.
This is only a reprieve from this misbegotten nonsense, unfortunately. Hopefully, the will of the people who literally make the ship run will be given more consideration before the fact the next time management feels pressure to adapt to external wishes.