U.S. Navy Releases Video Training Sailors to Use ‘Right’ Pronouns, Not ‘Misgender’ Colleagues

Conchy Vasquez and Jony Rozon, both engineers at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Division Newport discuss the importance of using correct pronouns as well as polite etiquette when you may not be sure of someone's pronouns. Official US Navy Video by John Vannucci
U.S. Navy Video

A newly-released Navy training video teaches sailors to use the “right” pronouns, “show that we’re allies,” and create “a safe space for everybody,” while instructing service members on how to proceed after having “misgendered” someone.

The official U.S. Navy video posted by Air Force Staff Sergeant John Vannucci, according to The Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS), begins with two rainbow-clad hosts — both Navy civilians — introducing their personal pronouns and announcing they are there “to talk about pronouns.”

“Using the right pronouns is a really simple way to affirm someone’s identity,” one host says. “It is a signal of acceptance and respect.”

In order to “go about creating a safe space for everybody,” the host suggests using “inclusive language.” 

“Instead of saying something like, ‘Hey, guys,’ you can say, ‘Hey, everyone,’ or, ‘Hey, team,’” he says.

The other host then explains “another way that we could show that we’re allies and that we accept everybody” when she suggests including pronouns “in our emails” or when introducing oneself.

If one has “misgendered” another, she continues, “correct yourself and move on or you accept the correction and move on.” 

The clip is apparently part of the Naval Sea Systems Command Inclusion & Engagement Council’s Diversity Team, which created the video series called “NAVSpEAks” to highlight “diverse voices and perspectives” in five-minute clips.

In response, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, radio host and former deputy assistant to former President Trump, called it the Navy’s “latest woke propaganda.”

“What happened to our Navy?” he asked in another tweet.

“Here’s an idea, fire everyone in the Navy who puts pronouns in their email signature and focus on how to be better at war,” wrote Republican Texas congressman Dan Crenshaw.

“For God’s sake, stop this stupidity,” he added.

“While China is building the world’s largest navy- including the launch of a  supercarrier last week- #Democrats focus on #GenderStudies and #CRT training for our military. China must be petrified,” wrote U.S. Rep. Billy Long (R-MO).

The clip comes amid nationwide attempts at pandering to the LGBTQ+ community since the start of “Pride Month.”

Earlier this month, the U.S. Marine Corps shared a celebratory image of a Marine helmet featuring rainbow bullets.

The United States Air Force tweeted out a graphic with the hashtag “#CELEBRATEPRIDE” and a female airman saluting with rainbow colors on her hand to celebrate the beginning of Pride Month.

“Happy Pride Month! We are the best #USAF by leveraging the diverse backgrounds & strengths of each member of our total force. We are committed to making the #AirForce a place where we all can reach their full potential. #PRIDE #PrideMonth,” the tweet read.

The Space Force also tweeted out a Pride Month message.

“Maj. Gen. Leah Lauderback spoke on how the LIT is working to change policy, change minds, and create opportunities for LGBTQ+ members of the military during an interview with @airandspace. #PrideMonth2022,” the branch said, including a link to an article on the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum’s website.

“LIT” stands for the LGBTQ Initiative Team, a working group formed last year by the Air Force and the Space Force. Lauderback is the director of LIT.

Last year, Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Harker released a memo outlining his efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the Navy.

The memo was intended to serve as a framework for ongoing DEI efforts in the Navy and directed the Chief Diversity Officer of the Navy, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) Cathy Kessmeier, to lead a Strategic Planning Team and develop an action plan to promote DEI.

Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.

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