Marine Corps to Ban ‘Infantryman’

Preserves 'rifleman' and 'mortarman,' other job titles to become gender neutral

Female Marines in 2013

Female Marines in 2013 / AP


The Marine Corps is eliminating the job title "basic infantryman" along with 18 others and replacing them with terms that are gender neutral.

Others titles, including "rifleman" and "mortarman," will remain the same, due to their historical and cultural significance for Marines.

The service plans to replace 19 of its military occupational specialty titles, the Marine Corps Times reported Tuesday, seven months after Navy Secretary Ray Mabus ordered the Marine Corps to conduct a review of all job titles to ensure gender neutrality.

For most of the 19 terms that will be changed, the word "Marine" will replace the word "man." Basic infantryman, for instance, will become Basic infantry Marine, and "reconnaissance man" will become "reconnaissance marine," according to a list of the 33 titles reviewed that was obtained by the Marine Corps Times.

The service is expected to officially announce the changes within the coming days.

In January, Mabus penned a memo to Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller asking the service to fully review its military occupational specialty titles to ensure their gender neutrality. The order came after Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that all combats roles would be opened up to women, despite objections from the Marines that some ground combat roles remain male-only.

"As we achieve full integration of the force … this is an opportunity to update the position titles and descriptions themselves to demonstrate through this language that women are included in these MOSs," Mabus wrote in the Jan. 1 memo.

"Please review the position titles throughout the Marine Corps and ensure that they are gender-integrated as well, removing ‘man’ from the titles and provide a report to me as soon as is practicable and no later than April 1, 2016."

Morgan Chalfant   Email Morgan | Full Bio | RSS
Morgan Chalfant is a staff writer at the Washington Free Beacon. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, Morgan worked as a staff writer at Red Alert Politics. She also served as the year-long Collegiate Network fellow on the editorial page at USA TODAY from 2013-14. Morgan graduated from Boston College in 2013 with a B.A. in English and Mathematics. Her Twitter handle is @mchalfant16.

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