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HomeNewsSenator Cotton Inquires About Pentagon's Usage of 'Themself' in Citations

Senator Cotton Inquires About Pentagon’s Usage of ‘Themself’ in Citations

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., an Army veteran, wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday, demanding an explanation regarding the Pentagon’s use of the gender-neutral term “themself” rather than the traditional “himself” or “herself” in decoration and award citations, according to Breitbart.

Cotton wrote, “I write regarding the Department’s decision to incorporate ‘gender neutral’ language into decoration and award citations. Our military apparently will now use ‘themself’ — which is not even a word, I hasten to add — instead of ‘himself’ or ‘herself’ to describe heroic or distinguished actions.”

The Senator provided a sample of what he deemed “absurd” model language: “(Rank) First M. Last, Jr., United States (Military Service), distinguished themself by superior meritorious service in a position of significant responsibility as (position and duty assignment), from (month year) to (month year).”

Cotton said prior guidance had consistently used “himself or herself” to refer to service members.

“And, I want to stress, this language isn’t referring to unspecified personnel in the abstract or large numbers of troops — it refers to a specific, named person whose ‘preferred gender’ is presumably known,” he said.

“The Department’s embrace of far-left gender ideology doesn’t merely subvert the English language in ways that would astonish George Orwell. Worse, it exemplifies a Pentagon leadership consumed by the fads of the faculty lounge at a time when the Army can’t hit its recruiting goals, the Navy can’t keep ships out of dry dock, and the Air Force can’t find spare parts for planes,” he added.

Cotton demanded a response from Austin by Sept. 15 at 5 p.m., seeking clarification on whether Austin personally sanctioned the language change and, if not, when he became aware of the alteration.

“I also would welcome a reply that this whole episode was just a practical joke or a decision you immediately reversed when it came to your attention,” he said.

In a footnote to the communication, Cotton, who addressed the letter to “Mr. Secretary,” added, “If I may be so bold as to assume your ‘preferred gender.'”

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

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