Change 5 to the Manual of Military Decorations and Awards took effect on Aug. 7, 2023, and hardly anyone noticed.
That is until last week, when the Office of the Secretary of Defense returned the draft citation for the end-of-tour award for none other than the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, four-star Army Gen. Mark Milley.
Because of Change 5, Milley’s citation must use the pronoun “themself” instead of “him.”
Page 49 of the revised manual includes draft language for awards, such as this (emphasis added):
Superior Meritorious Service (e.g., PCS and Retirement awards): (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 revised rules, found in Department of Defense Manual 1348.33, Volume 4, will apply to the most prestigious joint awards given by the Department of Defense, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, and the Joint Meritorious Unit Award.
Aside from the fact that the use of the pronoun “themself” is grammatically incorrect and just plain stupid sounding, it is insulting to every service man and service women in the armed forces.
There are two sexes: male and female. When a member of the U.S. armed forces earns a military decoration or award, he or she deserves to be recognized in that member’s official citation by the pronoun “he” or “she,” not some woke, grammatically incorrect pronoun demanded by elitist Biden administration apparatchiks.
Gender-neutral language used in cases where the actual, biological gender of the person is clearly known reduces that person to an androgenous non-entity, devoid—stripped, rather—of a profoundly fundamental characteristic central to who that person is as an individual. It effectively converts a distinguished service member into a sexless drone among a greater collective of genderless “servicepersons.”
Through the use of a mere four words—“incorporates gender neutral language”—Change 5 imposes by fiat a radical redefining of what it means to be a man or a woman and to be recognized as such. It is the latest manifestation of a political agenda that seeks to homogenize humanity by stripping it of a defining characteristic.
In essence, this is what the alphabet soup of gender identities and sexual orientations really amounts to: a watering down or dilution of identity to the point where the multitude of identities effectively means there is no defining identity—no actual “person” who can be known as a man or a woman, the essence of biological identity among humans.
George Orwell would have included such a phrase—“gender neutral language”—in his dictionary of Newspeak terms had his world in 1949 been so gender-confused and immersed in the identity-politics of the Progressive Left.
But this is a favorite tactic of those in power, to leverage the power of the executive branch to impose an administration’s writ through directives, executive orders, and even administration instructions.
In this single case, four words dictate to the more than 2 million Americans proudly and honorably serving in uniform that their service to country—in any state, territory, or overseas assignment—in any joint capacity can only be recognized with the neutering word “themself.”
Since the Biden administration imposed this diktat at the Joint-level, you can be sure this will trickle down into the service-level awards made by the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Space Force in fairly short order.
Big Brother would be so pleased.
This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal