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According to reports, the United States Marines may ban recruits from using “sir” or “ma’am” when addressing senior members in an effort to not misgender or offend anyone. The recommendation was made in a $2 million report commissioned by the Marines from the University of Pittsburgh.

The study states employing gender-neutral identifiers eliminates the possibility of “misgendering” drill instructors, which it said can “unintentionally offend or cause discord.”

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

Individuals in the Army, Navy and Coast Guard have “effectively de-emphasized” gender by referring to instructors using their ranks or roles followed by their last names, the report adds.

Col. Howard Hall, chief of staff for Marine Corps Training and Education Command, said the change isn’t something that would happen “overnight.”

“We’ve got a history of ‘sir, ma’am, sir, ‘ma’am,'” he said. “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.”

Hall said the recommendation was under consideration at a December meeting, according to the Marine Corps Times.



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