Politics

Navy Petition Reaches 100,000 Signatures, Forces White House To Review Gender-Neutral Job Title Change

REUTERS/U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Erin Devenberg.

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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A petition to reverse the decision by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus to make the entire job title system gender-neutral has reached more than 100,000 signatures, forcing a White House review.

The petition soared to 50,000 within the first week of its launch in late September, but for the rest of October, it was an open question of whether it would reach its goal.

But as of Monday morning, the petition reached 102,591 signatures, which reflects the fact that the new job title change is viewed in an almost universally unfavorable light.

“For 241 Years Navy personnel have been identified by their Job specialty, known as a ‘Rating.’ The oldest rates such as Boatswain Mates, and Gunners Mate predate the founding of this country,” the petition states. “Being known by your job title was a sense of pride. A sign of accomplishment. The Secretary of the Navy and Chief of Naval Operations just senselessly erased this tradition. One only has to visit Navy social media pages to see the disgust and outrage of current and former personnel.”

“One by one current leadership continues to erode the very things that set the Navy apart from the other services,” the petition continues. “Mr. President, I and the others signing this petition request you use your authority to restore to our Sailors what they have earned.”

But reversing what the military deems progress is an uphill challenge.

Navy officials try to justify the change by saying it will grant sailors better career opportunities, but hardly anyone is convinced.

In late September, the Navy eliminated its historic job title system in a move officials admitted was linked to concerns about gender neutrality. The only title to escape unscathed is “seaman” for E-3s and under.

The job title change effort was developed by then-Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Mike Stevens, who retired just before the Navy actually made the official announcement of the major switch.

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