The Marines Are Taking the “Man” out of 19 Job Titles

But don’t expect the Air Force or Army to follow suit.

<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-586510p1.html">Glynnis Jones/Shutterstock</a>

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


The Marine Corps will rename 19 job titles to make them gender neutral, as the military works to integrate women into more combat roles.

The word “man” will be cut from many of the titles and replaced with the word “Marine,” a Marine Corps spokeswoman confirmed to Mother Jones, adding that an official announcement would be made Friday. Jobs like “basic infantryman” will now be called “basic infantry Marine.”

“On one hand, the name changes from ‘man’ to ‘person’ or whatever they want to call it doesn’t really matter…But on the other, it’s a direct reflection on society’s crybaby political correctness.”

Some names will remain the same, a Marine official told the Marine Corps Times, which first reported the title changes Monday. “Names that were not changed, like rifleman, are steeped in Marine Corps history and ethos,” the official said.

But that hasn’t appeased some male soldiers. “On one hand, the name changes from ‘man’ to ‘person’ or whatever they want to call it doesn’t really matter. They could call mortarmen bakers for all I care,” Marine rifleman Sgt. Geoff Heath told the Washington Post. “But on the other, it’s a direct reflection on society’s crybaby political correctness.”

The title changes come after the Pentagon last year announced that the military would open all its combat jobs, including in special operations, to women for the first time. Of all the services, the Marine Corps has been the most resistant to integration, releasing a study that found all-male units performed better than mixed-gender units. But Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the study was “not definitive,” and in January this year Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus told the Marine Corps and Navy to review its job titles and descriptions.

Other military branches may not make similar changes. The Air Force and Army do not plan to revise their gender-specific job titles, officials from both branches confirmed to Mother Jones. “It is important to note the suffix ‘man’ itself is really derived from the word ‘human,'” Army spokesman Wayne V. Hall said. “This is why you still see the Air Force use ‘airman’ for all their personnel, or ‘policeman’ or ‘Congressman’ and even ‘woman.'”

Here’s a list of the Marine Corps title changes, via Stars and Stripes.     

Old New
Basic infantryman Basic infantry Marine
Riverine assault craft crewman Riverine assault craft Marine
Light-armor vehicle crewman Light-armor vehicle Marine
Reconnaissance man Reconnaissance Marine (to include three other recon-related jobs that include the word “man”)
Infantry assaultman Infantry assault Marine
Basic field artillery man

Basic field artillery Marine

Field artillery fire control man Field artillery fire control Marine
Field artillery sensor support man Field artillery sensor support Marine
Fire support Marine Fire support Marine
Basic engineer, construction and equipment man Basic engineer, construction and equipment Marine
Basic tank and assault amphibious vehicle crewman Basic tank and assault amphibious vehicle Marine
M1A1 tank crewman Armor Marine
Amphibious assault vehicle crewman Amphibious assault vehicle Marine
Amphibious combat vehicle crewman Amphibious combat vehicle Marine
Antitank missileman Antitank missile gunner
Field artillery operations man Field artillery operations chief

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate