The U.S. Navy SEALs and the Navy Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC) have no women in their ranks, but according to a new report from American Military News (AMN), these elite commando units have modified their ethos and creed statements by removing gendered terms like "brotherhood" to reflect a more gender-neutral presentation.
The SEALs and SWCC removed wordings like "men" and "brothers" to replace them with "warriors" and "citizens."
One of the changes can be seen here: "A common man with uncommon desire to succeed" to "Common citizens with uncommon desire to succeed."
In an emailed statement, Naval Special Warfare spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Stroup told AMN that changes to the ethos and creed to gender-neutral complies with the rule to allow women in the SEALs and SWCC.
"Naval Special Warfare continues to deliberately develop a culture of tactical and ethical excellence that reflects the nation we represent, and that draws upon the talents of the all-volunteer force who meet the standards of qualification as a SEAL or SWCC," Stroup said.
"The previous versions of the SEAL Ethos and SWCC Creed were written prior to the law allowing women to serve as operators in Naval Special Warfare," he continued. "The changes do not in any way reflect lowering standards of entry, rather they ensure that all those who meet the requirements to train to become a SEAL or SWCC are represented in the ethos or creed they live out. This improves the posture of the NSW force by ensuring we draw from the greatest pool of talent available."
"To date, no women completed the SEAL or SWCC qualification training pipelines," he added.
The modifications did not go so well with Eddie Gallagher, the former Navy SEAL chief who was accused of committing war crimes. He wrote an Instagram post, calling the SEALs' more gender-neutral approach as "a joke," adding that "to be honest I thought the ethos was always B.S. Now I know it is. A creed or ethos is supposed to be written in stone, obviously ours is not and will sway to whatever political agenda is being put out."
Some Instagram users were very unhappy about the changes; one person called called it "unbelievable" and someone else said it was "atrocious... wow."
A little more than a year after President Trump banned transgender individuals from serving in the military, the SEALs are openly pushing back against the president's position on LGBTQ people serving in the military.