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Navy nixes plan to rename all positions with 'man' in their title

FILE - In this undated file photo released by the U.S. Navy Visual News Service, the USNS Bowditch, a T-AGS 60 Class Oceanographic Survey Ship, sails in open water. China's seizure of an American underwater drone is the latest sign that the Pacific Ocean's dominant power and its rising Asian challenger are headed for more confrontation once U.S. President-elect Donald Trump takes office, analysts said on Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. (CHINFO, Navy Visual News via AP, File)

After facing a backlash, the Navy has decided to forgo its previous plan to remove various enlisted soliders' job titles, namely ones that end in "man."

In what was originally an effort to be more politically correct, the Navy announced their plans to eliminate their long-standing traditional titles back in September. They decided to instead refer to the sailors by their rank only, like "petty officer" or "chief," to ensure titles were more gender-neutral.

Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson explained in a memo that modernizing the naval ranking was only meant to give sailors more flexibility in training and assignments. He went on to say that using a more uniform ranking would help civilians understand the system better and essentially make it easier for the sailors to get jobs after leaving the service.

But after months of angry feedback, Navy officials decided the job titles would remain as is, canceling their revamping plans.

"We have learned from you, and so effective immediately, all rating names are restored," Richardson said in a memo released Wednesday.

"Modernizing our industrial-age personnel system in order to provide Sailors choice and flexibility still remains a priority for us. Our personnel system has not fundamentally changed since the 1970s, and just like our ships, aircraft and weapons systems, it needs updates to keep pace with a rapidly changing world. We must not shy away from adapting to meet the needs of a 21st century Navy -- including the way we manage our people."

Richardson expressed that providing "choice" and "flexibiity" to the sailors was still a top priority for the Navy.

"Modernizing our industrial-age personnel system in order to provide sailors choice and flexibility still remains a priority for us," he said. "We will need to tackle the issue of managing rating names."

The issue arose in January when the Navy decided to participate in a review of their titles. The review coincided with the Pentagon's orders to open all combat jobs to women, and the goal was to eliminate titles like "corpsman," and "boatswain's mate" because the Navy felt those titles would be too confusing for the public to understand.

 

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