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Navy SEALs remove terms like 'brotherhood' from ethos to be more gender-neutral

The changes were made but no women have completed the 'SEAL or SWCC qualification training'

Greg Mathieson/Mai/Mai/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images

The U.S. Navy SEALs and the Navy Special Warfare Combat-craft Crewman have removed so-called gendered terms like "brotherhood" from their ethos and creed statements in an effort to present the Navy as gender-neutral.

Another change made to the SEAL ethos was to alter the words "A common man with uncommon desire to succeed" to "Common citizens with uncommon desire to succeed."

The changes were made to comply with changes in the law allowing women to serve in the SEALs and SWCC, a spokesman for Naval Special Warfare told American Military News.

"Naval Special Warfare continues to deliberately develop a culture of tactical and ethical excellence that reflects the nation we represent, and that draws upon the talents of the all-volunteer force who meet the standards of qualification as a SEAL or SWCC," Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Stroup said.

"The previous versions of the SEAL Ethos and SWCC Creed were written prior to the law allowing women to serve as operators in Naval Special Warfare," Stroup continued. "The changes do not in any way reflect lowering standards of entry, rather they ensure that all those who meet the requirements to train to become a SEAL or SWCC are represented in the ethos or creed they live out. This improves the posture of the NSW force by ensuring we draw from the greatest pool of talent available."

"To date, no women completed the SEAL or SWCC qualification training pipelines," he added.

The new SEAL ethos can be found on the official website for the Naval Special Warfare Command. American Military News provided a link to an archived version of the ethos containing the original language.

From the report:

Another alteration to the first paragraph changes the phrase "I am that man" to "I am that warrior."

In the fourth paragraph, the sentence, "The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from other men" is changed to "The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from others" in the new version of the SEAL ethos.

In the final paragraph of the ethos statement, the prior sentence states, "Brave men have fought and died building the proud tradition and feared reputation that I am bound to uphold." The sentence is now changed with the reference to "Brave men" changed to "Brave SEALs."

The memo also calls for the SWCC creed to change the term "Brotherhood" in the first paragraph to "group of maritime warriors." Additionally, the memo states the sentence "I challenge my brothers to perform, as I expect them to challenge me" is to be changed to "I challenge them to perform, as I expect them to challenge me."

American Military News also provided links to the new version of the SWCC creed and compared it to a copy of the older version without the gender-neutral changes from the U.S. Special Operations Command website.

"The changes come despite the fact that there have been no women to successfully complete SEAL or SWCC training and enter the elite units," American Military News reports.

Retired SEAL Eddie Gallagher, who was pardoned by President Trump of one war crime conviction and acquitted of other serious charges, blasted the changes to the SEALs creed in an Instagram post Friday.

"What a joke. Note the names that signed off at the bottom. Adm. Colin Green (part of the hierarchy that tried to use the system to put me away)~ let's remove all male pronouns & BROTHERHOOD from the SEAL ethos," Gallagher wrote.

"To be honest I thought the ethos was always BS," Gallagher added. "Now I know it is. A creed or ethos is supposed to be written in stone, obviously ours is not and will sway to whatever political agenda is being put out."

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