5 RIFLES soldiers on phone

Cover image: library photo

There's been a flurry of activity on social media after a British Army colonel gave advice on how to answer the phone without assuming someone's gender and causing offence.

Replying to a letter written to Soldier Magazine, Colonel Steve Davies said: "The convention of answering the telephone using 'sir' without knowing who one is speaking to is now considered outdated and arguably unnecessary."

And there's been a lively debate on the issue across the web, with a post on Forces News' Facebook page receiving almost 300 reactions and around 200 comments.

We've collected some of the posts from commenters seeking to express their views on the topic, after seeing the reports in various publications...


Don't you mean he or she Mark?



One commenter had a different take...



While another questioned the advice:



But not everyone agreed...



One writer appeared to question the effect on operational capability...



And there was a stateside perspective:



And there was a bit of inter-services rivalry thrown in to boot:



One social media user said it was a matter of respect:



Whereas another said it wasn't worth talking about:



Another commenter had an ingenious idea...



While another wanted a return to the good old days:



And another said it was just common sense:



And there was a humorous imaginary scenario...



We want to know what you think though. Do you answer the phone with the word sir? Let us know in the comments.

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