COURSE COR­REC­TION: NAVY TI­TLES RE­STORED

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY JEN­NIFER HARPER

It is a teach­able mo­ment: The U.S. mil­i­tary is fierce and pro­tec­tive about its her­itage. Three months ago the Navy an­nounced it would jet­ti­son 21 long-stand­ing “rat­ings” ti­tles in the name of gen­der-neu­tral moder­nity. Such tra­di­tional names as “fire­man,” “corps­man” and even “sea­man” were about to dis­ap­pear un­til a whole fleet of au­then­tic sailors sounded the alarm.

The po­lit­i­cally cor­rect change did not sit well with ac­tive-duty per­son­nel and vet­er­ans alike, who pe­ti­tioned the White House to pro­tect the old ti­tles. They ad­vised that “be­ing known by your job ti­tle” was a source of pride, and that the sud­den cul­tural shift had sparked “dis­gust and out­rage” among many seago­ing stal­warts. Over 100,000 quickly signed the procla­ma­tion.

There’s been a change of heart.

In a terse an­nounce­ment made pub­lic shortly be­fore Christ­mas, Chief of Naval Op­er­a­tions Adm. John Richard­son re­vealed that Navy Sec­re­tary Ray Mabus and other of­fi­cials had heard from thou­sands of dis­grun­tled folk about the new di­rec­tive.

“The feed­back from cur­rent and for­mer sailors has been con­sis­tent that there is wide sup­port for the flex­i­bil­ity that the plan of­fers, but the re­moval of rat­ing ti­tles de­tracted from ac­com­plish­ing our ma­jor goals. Fur­ther­more, there has been a solid body of thought­ful in­put that pointed out that there is a way to have the ben­e­fits of the rat­ing modernization pro­gram without re­mov­ing rat­ing ti­tles,” the ad­mi­ral noted.

“I have been adamant that our Navy needs to be a fast-learn­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion — that in­cludes our lead­er­ship. The De­sign for Main­tain­ing Mar­itime Su­pe­ri­or­ity states that our most ju­nior team­mate may have the best idea, and that we must be open to cap­tur­ing that idea. We have learned from you, and so, ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately, all rat­ing names are re­stored.”

But there’s one more name up for con­sid­er­a­tion. A new pub­lic pe­ti­tion has sur­faced over at the White House “We the Peo­ple” web­site, des­ig­nated as a place to air pub­lic griev­ances. It’s a short mis­sive, only 28 words: “The next ma­jor U.S. Navy Ship should be named ‘USS The De­plorables’ — to honor those cit­i­zens who rose up to de­fend Amer­ica and The Con­sti­tu­tion from the glob­al­ists.”

U.S. NAVY

Ac­tive-duty and vet­eran sail­ers pe­ti­tioned the White House to re­store ranks like “sea­man” and “corps­man” af­ter the Navy de­creed it was jet­ti­son­ing them in fa­vor of more gen­der-neu­tral ti­tles.

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