President Donald Trump on Thursday said he will overturn the “ridiculous order” of removing the words “brotherhood” and “man” from the U.S. Navy SEAL ethos.
It comes after the recent change was made to the Navy SEAL ethos to reflect the fact that women can now serve in the elite force.
“I will be overturning this ridiculous order immediately!” Trump said in a tweet responding to the news.
The Navy SEALs and the Navy Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC) recently changed their ethos and creed statements to reflect a gender-neutral presentation of the elite Navy groups, doing away with gendered terms like “brotherhood” and changing them to “citizen” and “warrior.”
The current version of the SEAL ethos can be seen on the Naval Special Warfare Command’s official website, and reflects the gender-neutral changes. An older version is also available and shows the ethos statement without the new gender-neutral phrasing.
One change to the SEAL ethos was to alter a sentence in the first paragraph which initially read, “A common man with uncommon desire to succeed,” to “Common citizens with uncommon desire to succeed.” Another that read, “I am that man,” now reads, “I am that warrior.”
In the fourth paragraph of the ethos, the sentence, “The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from other men” has changed to “The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from others,” and “brave men” has been amended to read “brave SEALs.”
The new version of the SWCC creed has also been published on the Naval Special Warfare Command website.
In the SWCC creed, the term “brotherhood” was changed to a “group of maritime warriors.” Additionally, the sentence, “I challenge my brothers to perform, as I expect them to challenge me” is changed to, “I challenge them to perform, as I expect them to challenge me.”
Naval Special Warfare spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Stroup confirmed the changes to the ethos and creed statements in an emailed statement to American Military News.
“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 Naval Special Warfare spokesman added that the changes had been made to the ethos and creed statements in order to comply with changes in law opening the potential for women to join the elite military units.
“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. 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.”
This meant that for the first time in U.S. military history, women were able to contribute to the Defense Department mission with no barriers at all in their way, provided they qualified and met specific standards.
However, Stroup said that “to date, no women completed the SEAL or SWCC qualification training pipelines.”