US army remembers that some of its sons are daughters

My, my how times change. This item covered in journals such as Forbes and the International Herald Tribune, no less, is an indication of two things. The first is the importance of words. The second is the increasing number of women in armies around the world. The story they are covering is the announcement of the US Army’s West Point military academy to accommodate the many women that have attended it – and died in action. PC? A fair tribute? Here’s what I think…

The army has traditionally been the reserve of men. But perhaps starting with armies such as Israel and later Iran, women have been taking a far greater role over the past few decades. But what to do about army songs such as “Alma Mater” and “The Corps”. After attending the funeral of a female, Superintendent Lt. Gen. Franklin “Buster” Hagenbeck felt that singing, “Guide us, thy sons…” was a little inappropriate. At a ceremony commemorating the 30th anniversary of women being admitted to West Point, he listened as the female alums sang lyrics that included, “We sons of today, we salute you.”

So Hagenbeck has been considering changing expressions such as “the men” to “the ranks” and “we sons” to “the corps”.

It doesn’t seem much to ask for the contribution women are being asked to make, and doesn’t change the core message. I salute the idea.

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