ANONYMOUS A Royal Scots Dragoon Guard takes a break in the turret of a Challenger tank after a long night of fighting in Southern Iraq during Iraq War 24032003 CREDIT PA.
Diversity

Defence Minister Backs Calls For More Modern Gender Rank Titles

James Heappey told the Commons military chiefs have been “considering” the issue.

ANONYMOUS A Royal Scots Dragoon Guard takes a break in the turret of a Challenger tank after a long night of fighting in Southern Iraq during Iraq War 24032003 CREDIT PA.

A defence minister has backed calls for gender rank titles in the Armed Forces to be changed.

James Heappey told the Commons he “rather agrees” that roles should be updated to reflect the modern make-up of the services.

He also said military chiefs have been “considering” the matter and an inclusive language guide will be released in springtime.

It comes as a Conservative MP urged the Government to reform as “more and more women” are pursuing careers in defence.

At defence questions in Parliament, Flick Drummond (Meon Valley) addressed the House: "More and more women are pursuing careers in the Armed Forces.

"Will [Mr Heappey] look at [how] their personal development can be encouraged to ensure that the remaining gender rank titles are updated to reflect the modern make-up of the services?"

Mr Heappey replied: "[Mrs Drummond] makes a very valid point and this former rifleman rather agrees.

Ben Wallace on Downing Street 300920 CREDIT PA
The Defence Secretary said he wanted to “level up opportunities” for all who serve in the military (Picture: PA).

"The issue of gender-ranked titles is something the chiefs have been considering and diverse and inclusion leads are working collaboratively across the services to develop an inclusive language guide for release in the spring.

"This guide is informed by the wider work that NATO has done to produce gender-inclusive language manuals."

Later, the Defence Secretary said he wanted to “level up opportunities” for all who serve in the military.

Ben Wallace told MPs that he had published the department’s qualitative whole force inclusivity report into women in the Armed Forces.

He said: "This report helps underline the scale of the task we must address, and given the significance of this issue, I felt a wider readership was important.

"The Armed Forces offers fantastic career opportunities for men and women alike but, as this report highlights, their experiences aren't always equal and in some cases unacceptable.

"I am determined to level up opportunities for all who work in defence through behaviour and culture change."

Cover image: PA.