Rep. Mike Gallagher Slams ‘Insane’ Woke Marine Corps Proposal to End ‘Gendered’ Salutations ‘Sir,’ ‘Ma’am’

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Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) slammed a newly released report recommending the Marine Corps drop gender-specific salutations for drill instructors, calling the study “insane” and warning that the continued denial by military leaders of the existence of wokeism in the Armed Forces is a matter of “life-or-death.”

In a Wednesday statement, Gallagher, who serves as the top Republican on the House Armed Services Military Personnel Committee and was recently selected to chair the Select Committee on China, responded to the new study.

“The $2 million, Marine Corps-funded academic study of gender-integrated training recommends eliminating the use of the gendered terms ‘Sir’ and ‘Ma’am’ for drill instructors,” he noted, adding that its conclusion that gender identifiers are “problematic” is a claim “without any empirical evidence or citations of published research.”

According to the study, “gender identifiers” can “remind recruits of negative stereotypes they hold” and “subconsciously” affect the reactions of recruits; “prime” them to consider a drill instructor’s “gender first, before their rank or role;” and possibly lead to “misgendering” instructors.

“Obviously this is insane,” Gallagher, a U.S. Marine veteran, said. 

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) speaks to reporters after a House Republican Caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol on September 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. The House of Representatives are expected to have a vote later today on legislation which would keep the government from shutting down on September 30. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) speaks to reporters after a House Republican Caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol on September 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

He also expressed his hope that “the Commandant not only rejects the recommendation but also asks for his money back.” 

“The Marine Corps may have problems, but the use of gendered terms at boot camp is not one of them,” he asserted. 

In addition, Gallagher called out military leaders who “continue to deny wokeism exists in the military despite spending millions of defense dollars on woke projects.” 

“Playing such dumb games in academia or entertainment is one thing, but now we are meddling with the life-or-death business of warfighting,” he argued. 

“If we keep integrating such woke nonsense into deterrence, then we will see more deterrence failures,” he concluded.

The lengthy Corps-commissioned academic report notes that roughly half of the military services have already discarded gendered identifiers for training staff.

Suggesting that the terms “sir” and “ma’am” be replaced with the neutral “drill instructor,” the study’s authors claim that doing so would “underscore the importance of respecting authoritative figures regardless of gender.”

The proposal is one of several recommendations the Marines’ entry-level training advisory council is currently considering. 

Gallagher has long warned of the damaging effects of wokeism in the Armed Forces, describing it as a distraction from warfighting and a vital factor in driving servicemembers out of active duty “in droves.”

In February, Gallagher called out the military’s woke “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) agenda, criticizing military leaders for “asking us to embrace a brand of identity politics that is fashionable on the left right now, one which judges people explicitly by the color of their skin rather than on their merits as individuals.”

Last year, he joined other Republicans in ordering a report that concluded the Navy’s top brass is more focused on wokeness and diversity training than on winning wars.

As a result, the report reveals, sailors have been left feeling unprepared to face a 21st century conflict with China.

Earlier this year, the Navy released a training video teaching sailors to use the “right” pronouns, “show that we’re allies,” and create “a safe space for everybody,” while instructing servicemembers on how to proceed after having “misgendered” someone.

Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein


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