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="">Glynnis Jones/Shutterstock</a>

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


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