Army considers dropping the term 'Guardsman' to be more gender inclusive

7 June 2022, 20:21

The Army has been asked to stop calling soldiers in Queen&squot;s bodyguard "Guardsman"
The Army has been asked to stop calling soldiers in Queen's bodyguard "Guardsman". Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

The Army has been asked to stop calling soldiers in the Queen's bodyguard "Guardsman" after female soldiers complained about being referred to as men everyday.

Soldiers serving in the Foot Guards, which compromises of five regiments including the Grenadier Guards, the Coldstream Guards, The Scots Guards, the Irish Guards and the Welsh Guards, are referred to as Guardsmen irrespective of their gender.

But according to The Sun, military bosses are now considering changing the language used, to make it more inclusive following complaints from female members of staff.

In a post on the Army Servicewoman's Network, one woman asked: "Does anybody know if the rank of Guardsman is going to change soon?"

Critics have suggested dropping the "man" part of the name and referring to all privates as "Guards".

A spokesman said: "We remain open to different views on the naming of ranks."

It would follow the precedent set by the RAF when last year they dropped airman and airwoman in favour of gender-neutral "aviator".

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The military is not the only employer to consider changing gendered language in the workplace, after it was reported in April that the Home Office has asked staff to indicate their pronouns in emails because of "the wider cultural changes" taking shape in Government.

People working at the Visa, Status and Immigration Services department were told by bosses to state whether they identify as a man, woman or non-binary in their email send off, according to reports.

It would mean each member of staff would either end with he/him if they identify as a man, she/her if they identify as a woman or they/them if they are non-binary.

The National Security Agency, also told staff: "Sharing your pronouns, if you are comfortable doing this, helps to create an environment in which this is normal.

"You can do this by: adding your pronouns to your email signature or sharing them at the start of a slidepack."

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