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President Donald Trump on Thursday vowed to get rid of new U.S. Navy gender-neutral language to be included in elite SEAL training guidelines, calling them “ridiculous.”
The president, who announced Friday that both he and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, was responding to changes in the Navy SEAL ethos and Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewman (SWCC) creed.
The changes were designed to ditch male-centric terms like “brotherhood” in response to U.S. law that now allows women to apply for and serve in elite and previously male-only military roles.
But the president isn’t a fan.
“I will be overturning this ridiculous order immediately!” Trump tweeted Thursday.
Navy officials have couched the decision to change the ethos on making SEAL training more inclusive.
“Naval Special Warfare continues to deliberately develop a culture of tactical and ethical excellence that reflects the nation we represent, and that draws upon the talents of the all-volunteer force who meet the standards of qualification as a SEAL or SWCC,” Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Stroup, a spokesman for Naval Special Warfare told American Military News.
“The previous versions of the SEAL Ethos and SWCC Creed were written prior to the law allowing women to serve as operators in Naval Special Warfare,” he added.
“The changes do not in any way reflect lowering standards of entry, rather they ensure that all those who meet the requirements to train to become a SEAL or SWCC are represented in the ethos or creed they live out,” he continued.
“This improves the posture of the NSW force by ensuring we draw from the greatest pool of talent available,” Stroup concluded.
He did acknowledge, however, “To date, no women completed the SEAL or SWCC qualification training pipelines.”
Former Navy SEALs also panned the sea service’s decision to change the ethos language.
“What a joke. Note the names that signed off at the bottom. Adm. Colin Green (part of the hierarchy that tried to use the system to put me away)~ let’s remove all male pronouns & BROTHERHOOD from the SEAL ethos,” Eddie Gallagher, accused of murdering an ISIS fighter in Syria who was cleared of those charges last year and pardoned by the president, wrote on Instagram.
“To be honest I thought the ethos was always BS,” Gallagher, who retired from the Navy, added. “Now I know it is. A creed or ethos is supposed to be written in stone, obviously ours is not and will sway to whatever political agenda is being put out.”
And on Wednesday, former Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill tweeted “Long Live the Non-Binaryhood.”
— Robert J. O'Neill (@mchooyah) September 30, 2020
Some of the changes include:
— “A common man” to “common citizens”
— “He” to “they”
— “His” to “their”
— “I am that man” to “I am that warrior”
— “Brave men” to “Brave SEALs”
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