royal canadian navy

Royal Canadian Navy to replace seamen with gender-neutral term

Junior sailors in the Royal Canadian Navy will no longer be referred to using the term "seamen."

Instead, a gender-neutral title will be decided upon by the military's sailors and members of the public. 

The move comes in an effort to increase diversity and inclusivity, according to commanders responsible for the navy's personnel policy.

It is also hoped that the change will help the navy's most junior members feel safe and proud of their ranks and jobs. 

"What this will do is ensure a safe environment so there is no double entendre," said Cmdr. Deborah-Lynn Gates, speaking to The Canadian Press.

"Definitely at the tactical level, we want to make sure our most junior members understand and feel safe when they are being called their rank, being called their name or being addressed."

Members of the navy and the public can vote online on alternatives starting Friday. 

One option is to replace "seaman" with "sailor." There will also be the opportunity to suggest alternative terms.

The announcement has sparked debate on social media with people arguing both for and against the change. 

While some people have supported the move, others have argued against its political correctness.

The suggested change will ultimately need to be approved by cabinet.

Lead photo by

Shape NATO


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in News

A fisherman in Canada keeps catching some of the strangest fish ever

Masks Over Hugs group crashes anti-mask protest in Canada

100 students in Edmonton self-isolating after being exposed to COVID-19 at high school

B.C. shuts down nightclubs and moves up last call for bars

Halifax man shares video of anti-Black racist encounter

The COVID-19 curve is no longer flattening in Canada

Here's what you need to know about the Hugs Over Masks groups in Canada

Numerous schools across Canada are already reporting COVID-19 cases