Woke RAF Cadets To Stop Using "Marksman" Term

by
posted on June 16, 2024
Royal Air Force logo on white blue font

The United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force Cadets (RAFC) and their instructors have been ordered to stop using the term “marksman” in reference to the organization’s shooting badges. According to a news report in GBN, Great Britain’s News Channel, a memo issued in February explained, “The new nomenclature is gender-neutral; the terms ‘marksman’ and ‘marksmanship’ must not feature when referring to the new shooting badges.”

RFAC is sponsored by the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense. Cadets are age 12 to 19 who, according to the Daily Mail, are taught shooting’s basics on air rifles and 5.56 NATO-chambered SA80 carbines.

The change is the latest of many enacted by the organization to address diversity and inclusiveness. Cadets can choose any restroom they prefer, for example, regardless of gender.

RFAC was established in 1941 as the Air Cadet Organisation. Its name officially changed in 2017. More than 50,000 cadets and volunteers are active in the program today.

“Great women shots like Annie Oakley have always been complimented on their marksmanship,” Tim Bonner, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance in the United Kingdom told the Daily Mail. “In the absence of anyone actually being upset by the description, it looks as though the Air Cadets are being over-sensitive.” A spokesperson for RFAC told the newspaper the name change doesn’t affect the shooting program or training.

In 1881, the U.S. Army officially began awarding the Marksman Button to soldiers who qualified. In 1897, the honor became the more familiar Rifle Marksmanship Badge. Later, if service members showed sufficient accuracy, they earned Expert and Sharpshooter levels of the honor. Today badges, metals or ribbons are earned by members of all branches of the U.S. military, many ending with “marksman.”

Junior ROTC members in the United States are allowed to wear their Marksmanship Qualification Medals on their uniform and refer to them as such.

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