News and Commentary

Navy Edits Gendered Language Out Of Ethos Of All-Male SEAL Special Forces

   DailyWire.com
Navy Seals Hell Week (Photo by Richard Schoenberg/Corbis via Getty Images)
Richard Schoenberg/Corbis via Getty Images

The U.S. Navy has purged the ethos of the Navy SEALs and the creed of the Navy Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC) of gendered language to reflect changes in the law that allow women to serve in the forces.

The change to the codes was first reported by American Military News on Monday. Naval Special Warfare spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Stroup confirmed the changes to the outlet, saying that the edits were made to comply with changes in law allowing women to serve in both of the units.

“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 in an email, according to American Military News.

“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.”

Stroup also confirmed that, despite the changes, “To date, no women completed the SEAL or SWCC qualification training pipelines.”

The edits to the SEAL ethos changed such phrases as “a common man with uncommon desire to succeed” to “Common citizens with uncommon desire to succeed,” and “I am that man” to “I am that warrior.” In the SWCC creed, the word “brotherhood” was updated to read “an elite group of maritime warriors.”

The SEAL ethos has been changed online to the updated version and can be compared to the previous version, which has been saved in an internet archive. No such archive of the previous SWCC creed is available.

The first paragraph of the previous SEAL ethos reads (changes in bold):

In times of war or uncertainty there is a special breed of warrior ready to answer our Nation’s call. A common man with uncommon desire to succeed. Forged by adversity, he stands alongside America’s finest special operations forces to serve his country, the American people, and protect their way of life. I am that man.

The updated version of the ethos now says:

In times of war or uncertainty there is a special breed of warrior ready to answer our Nation’s call. Common citizens with uncommon desire to succeed. Forged by adversity, they stand alongside America’s finest special operations forces to serve their country, the American people, and protect their way of life. I am that warrior.

The last paragraph has also been edited. The original says:

Brave men have fought and died building the proud tradition and feared reputation that I am bound to uphold. In the worst of conditions, the legacy of my teammates steadies my resolve and silently guides my every deed. I will not fail.

The updated version says:

Brave SEALs have fought and died building the proud tradition and feared reputation that I am bound to uphold. In the worst of conditions, the legacy of my teammates steadies my resolve and silently guides my every deed. I will not fail.

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