British Army Soldiers Told To Stop Using Words like "Gents", "Men" And "Lads"

Daniel Davies
·2-min read
Photo credit: Lorado - Getty Images
Photo credit: Lorado - Getty Images

British soldiers serving in 22 Engineer Regiment have been warned against using gendered terms like "gents", "men" and "lads" because they go against the military's diversity and inclusion standards.

In a set of orders detailing what is expected of soldiers in online meetings, the Regiment's sergeant major said that the terms are incompatible with the British military's diversity and inclusion (D and I) protocols, and reminded troops of the values and standards (V and S) they are expected to uphold.

"There has been a drop in V and S over the last few weeks," wrote the sergeant major. "Saluting/bracing up [coming to attention]... make sure people are getting paid the correct compliments... All are to remember D and I [diversity and inclusion] – “gents”, “men”, “lads” and other phrases are not to be used."

As well as "gents", "men" and "lads", the Daily Mail also claims words such as "mankind" and "sportsmanship" have been banned as the Armed Forces attempts to remodel itself as a gender-neutral organisation.

News about the Army becoming more sensitive about the language it uses has split debate on social media.

Former Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan wrote: "Anyone that easily offended should not be in the British Army."

However, others supported the Army's attempt to create a more inclusive workplace, with one Twitter user commenting: "Think [of it] from a women's view of being the sole female in a meeting. If the commanding officer is using 'c'mon lads' this, 'well done, lads' that, it is easy to feel excluded. Overall the laddish culture is something lads should be encouraged to grow out of by the time they join the Army."

According to the MoD's website, 22 Engineer Regiment provides essential armoured engineering support to the British Army, and adds "as well as being trained soldiers, combat engineers and tradesman, our regiment is equipped with some heavy duty capabilities, such as the Titan and Trojan armoured vehicles."

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