The Department of Defense (DOD) has now retracted the “gender-neutral language” it quietly implemented for the six most prestigious joint service military award citations. The Pentagon previously changed the Manual of Military Decorations and Awards to use the grammatically incorrect word “themself,” instead of “himself” or “herself,” to describe heroic or distinguished actions.
However, on September 19, after only one month, the DOD quietly removed all but one reference to “themself” from the document, and it restored the language, “himself or herself,” in military award citations.
The Manual of Military Decorations and Awards provides detailed information and procedures for preparing and submitting the six most prestigious joint service awards including:
- Defense Distinguished Service Medal
- Defense Superior Service Medal
- Defense Meritorious Service Medal
- Joint Service Commendation Medal
- Joint Service Achievement Medal
- Joint Meritorious Unit Award
For example, when the Pentagon replaced the pronouns for the made-up word “themself” on August 7, the opening draft sentence for the Defense Distinguished Service Medal read:
(Rank) First M. Last, Sr., United States (Military Service), distinguished themself by exceptionally meritorious service in a duty of great responsibility as (position and duty assignment), from (month year) to (month year).
Senator Tom Cotton wrote in a September 8 letter to U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, “Dear Mr. Secretary” with the footnote reading, “If I may be so bold as to assume your ‘preferred gender.’”
Senator Cotton wrote, “The Department’s embrace of far-left gender ideology doesn’t merely subvert the English language in ways that would astonish George Orwell. Worse, it exemplifies a Pentagon leadership consumed by the fads of the faculty lounge at a time when the Army can’t hit its recruiting goals, the Navy can’t keep ships out of dry dock, and the Air Force can’t find spare parts for planes.”
“I also would welcome a reply that this whole episode was just a practical joke, or a decision you immediately reversed when it came to your attention,” wrote Cotton.
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “The military continues to reveal a Pentagon leadership more consumed by social fads than protecting this country. There are two sexes: male and female. When a member of the U.S. armed forces earns a military decoration or award, he or she deserves to be recognized by the proper pronoun and not some woke, grammatically incorrect pronoun demanded by the Biden administration. When America desperately needs a strong military force, the Pentagon has once again chosen to waste resources on Orwellian wokeness instead of warfighting.”