Trump on Language Change In SEALs Ethos: 'Ridiculous'

President claims he's going to overturn alterations that get rid of words like 'brotherhood'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2020 11:40 AM CDT
Trump Balks After Navy SEALs Nix Gender-Specific Terms
In this May 14, 2009, file photo, Navy SEAL trainees carry inflatable boats at the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado in Coronado, Calif.   (AP Photo/Denis Poroy, File)

Although no women have yet qualified to become Navy SEALs, the elite US combat unit recently changed the language in its official guiding beliefs in anticipation that female service members may one day join its ranks. As reported earlier this week by American Military News, the ethos and creeds of both the SEALs and the Navy's Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen have been tweaked. Words like "man" and "brotherhood" have been replaced with more gender-neutral terms—for instance, saying "Common citizens with uncommon desire to succeed" instead of "A common man with uncommon desire to succeed." Naval Special Warfare spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Stroup explained the changes were made to comply with a law that now allows women to vie for spots in special ops units.

But while female service members may be thrilled to hear about this change, one big name isn't, per Politico. "I will be overturning this ridiculous order immediately!" President Trump tweeted Thursday. The president's response accompanied a retweet of an account announcing the wording change, reports the Navy Times, which notes it's not clear if Trump has actually issued an order yet to that effect. A defense official tells US News & World Report that Trump hadn't been officially briefed by the Navy on the change beforehand. Stroup tells Task & Purpose, however, that "updates were overdue" and that the handful of alterations were "favorably endorsed" by major commanders and command master chiefs in each unit. (Read more Navy SEALs stories.)

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