Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton is demanding answers from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on why the Pentagon is reportedly incorporating so-called “gender-neutral language” into military “decoration and award citations.”
In a letter sent to Austin on Friday, Cotton pressed the defense secretary on why the Pentagon is seeking to abandon the use of “himself” and “herself” in its Manual of Military Decorations and Awards to “describe heroic or distinguished actions” by military personnel. Rather than use grammatically accurate language to refer to the awarded individual, the manual will now allegedly employ the invented term “themself.”
“(Rank) First M. Last, Jr., United States (Military Service), distinguished themself by superior meritorious service in a position of significant responsibility as (position and duty assignment), from (month year) to (month year),” the new model language allegedly reads.
The language change wouldn’t be the first time the Pentagon has abandoned proper English in favor of radical gender ideology. The U.S. Navy, for example, issued a training video last year instructing its service members on how to create a “safe space” by using “inclusive language” and “correct” pronouns, and warning them not to “misgender” others.
“The Department’s embrace of far-left gender ideology doesn’t merely subvert the English language in ways that would astonish George Orwell,” Cotton wrote. “Worse, it exemplifies a Pentagon leadership consumed by the fads of the faculty lounge at a time when the Army can’t hit its recruiting goals, the Navy can’t keep ships out of dry dock, and the Air Force can’t find spare parts for planes.”
Cotton is demanding to know whether Austin authorized the language update and if service members may request the use of their accurate male or female pronouns for any potential awards or ceremonies. The Arkansas senator also requested Austin inform him of “other official documentation” within the Pentagon that “requires gender-neutral language.”
“I also would welcome a reply that this whole episode was just a practical joke, or a decision you immediately reversed when it came to your attention,” Cotton wrote.
He gave Austin a deadline of Sept. 15 to respond to his requests.