The Navy is hell-bent on adjusting job titles to suit gender equality, but the bureaucracy is stumped on changing the clerical position of “yeoman” and has mulled over alternatives like “yeo-person” and “yeo-specialist” as replacements.
But up to this point, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael D. Stevens has rejected all these new alternatives to the administrative position of yeoman, The New York Times reports.
As part of the effort to integrate women into all combat roles, the Navy has pushed to make job titles with the word “man” more gender neutral, preferring titles like “technician” and “specialist” over “rifleman,” “mineman,” and “assault man.”
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has been at the forefront of making the service more hospitable to women. He opened submarines to women in 2010, and in 2015, he tripled maternity leave to lower the number of women dropping out of the Navy. He also has advocated to open all combat roles to women and bashed Marine Corps leadership for submitting an exemption recommending otherwise. Despite a Marine Corps study showing that mixed-gender units vastly underperformed relative to male-only units, Mabus insisted first that the study was biased, and second said that even if the study were solid, at least some women would be able to make the cut, so opening all combat roles to women was the right step to take.
For Mabus, changing job titles is clearly the next step to making women feel more comfortable.
No title modifications are yet final, but in the next few weeks, Mabus will deliver formal recommendations.
“There may be a few iconic titles you are not going to change because they are so deeply rooted and have been there for so long that they don’t denote gender,” Mabus told The New York Times.
His singular obsession with increasing diversity in the military has led GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter to call for his resignation.
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