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Canada navy drops ‘seaman’ for gender neutral ranks

The Royal Canadian Navy announced Thursday will adopt gender neutral ranks, changing references to “seaman” in designations to “sailor” in order to be more diverse and inclusive, and to recruit more women.

Effective early September, junior ranks will be known as sailor third class, sailor second class, sailor first class and master sailor, replacing ordinary seaman, able seaman, leading seaman and master seaman, respectively.

The move comes after months of public consultations that brought out both support and hateful, misogynistic comments.

That dialogue with over 18,000 respondents, said Vice-Admiral Art McDonald in a statement, highlighted the “sobering reality that we all need to do more –- individually and collectively –- to be diverse, inclusive, and welcoming.”

The new English designations align with existing ranks in French.

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