The Pentagon quietly reversed its gender pronoun policy for award citations on Tuesday after it had previously updated its Manual of Military Decorations and Awards to require the use of “gender-neutral” pronouns for six joint awards.
“This change revises the language used in Joint award citations … and updates references,” the adjustment, known as “Change 6” states.
In August, the Department of Defense (DOD) issued an unannounced change to the manual to require award citations to use “themself” — a word not recognized by standard English — instead of “himself” or “herself.”
The language was discovered by the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation. The foundation reported that the end-of-tour award for Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was returned because he used gender-specific pronouns for his citation.
The awards required to use the gender-neutral pronoun included the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal and the Joint Meritorious Unit Award.
But that change was met with blowback from GOP lawmakers and the Heritage Foundation.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., wrote a letter to the Pentagon on September 8, saying he “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.” . . . . (read more on Fox News)
Pentagon Reverses Gender-Neutral Pronoun Policy for Awards After Heritage Takes It to Task (The Daily Signal, 21 SEP 23)
A rare thing happened Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
On Sept. 19, very quietly, the Pentagon reversed its asinine gender-neutral pronoun rule for certain award citations that my colleague Dakota Wood and I exposed on Sept. 1. Without any fanfare—no doubt in an attempt to put this entire sordid affair behind it—the Pentagon simply posted “Change 6” to the Manual of Military Decorations and Awards.
But for The Heritage Foundation exposing this issue of wokeness on steroids, all military awards and citations would have required the androgynous, grammatically incorrect pronoun “themself” instead of the standard “himself” or “herself.” (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s news and commentary outlet.)
This seemingly minor policy change was and is emblematic of deeper issues within the Pentagon affecting lethality, unit cohesion, recruitment, and retention.
Let’s rewind the tape.
On Aug. 7, during the summer doldrums, the Pentagon quietly published a change to the Manual of Military Decorations and Awards for the six most prestigious joint service awards. Change 5 required the use of “gender neutral” pronouns for the six awards.
In the last week of August, the Office of the Secretary of Defense returned the draft citation for the end-of-tour award for none other than the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff himself, four-star Army Gen. Mark Milley.
It turned out that because of Change 5, Milley’s citation as drafted needed to be fixed; it had to use the pronoun “themself” instead of “him.” . . . (read more)