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johnphil
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« on: August 09, 2019, 04:49:52 AM »

Hello,
I have a cadet in my squadron who is neither male or female gender, and is currently a C/CMSgt. They are promoting soon to officer so it made me think how would you refer to them, as for male is Sir, Ma’am for female, but I don’t know for them. Thank you.
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Holding Pattern
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« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2019, 04:54:13 AM »

If you cannot resolve this via common sense, I'd consult with your chain of command.
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Spam
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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2019, 05:04:24 AM »





Easy answer. "Lieutenant"... Works just fine.


R/s
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Fester
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2019, 06:29:04 AM »

Do they wear a male or female uniform?  What does eServices state their gender as?
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1stLt, CAP
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Ned
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« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2019, 10:23:39 AM »

And, of course, it is always respectful to ask the cadet how they would prefer to be addressed.

Very easy, takes just a couple of seconds:

Perhaps while you are congratulating them on their awesome achievement.

Ned Lee
National Cadet Program Manager
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MSG Mac
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« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2019, 11:13:20 AM »

This was addressed at a National Conference a few years ago. You refer to the individual as whichever he/she identifies as.
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Michael P. McEleney
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Tim Day
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« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2019, 05:59:47 PM »

And, of course, it is always respectful to ask the cadet how they would prefer to be addressed.

Very easy, takes just a couple of seconds:

Perhaps while you are congratulating them on their awesome achievement.

Ned Lee
National Cadet Program Manager

 :clap:

Gets your answer, while modeling a core value!
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Tim Day
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TheSkyHornet
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« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2019, 01:50:57 PM »

That cadet is going to find a major inconsistency in how they're greeted across the universe that is CAP.

The regulations and pamphlets say to address males as "Sir" and females as "Ma'am." It instructs on how to introduce male and female members.

The third gender aside—

Any deviation from that is going to be met with a level of awkwardness, none of which is ill-intended. But that cadet is going to be "out in the world" and will be greeted quite frequently by other cadets (who may visually see, say, a female) who will say "Good evening, Ma'am." That's just what should be expected, because the other 26,951 cadets in CAP do not know that this person identifies otherwise or prefers to be called otherwise, and they have no regulation or guidance that says to call them a third option. It is key to understand that there is no disrespect intended by any of these people, but they simply won't know until they're told otherwise. (The same goes for androgynous cadets...females with short haircuts, males with "baby faces"). "Good evening, Si—oh, my apologies, Ma'am."

While at the local level, there may be a courtesy established to respect that cadet, the remainder of Civil Air Patrol has zero clue. You might need to explain that to that cadet, point to the manuals, and help them to understand what to expect.
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Spam
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« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2019, 07:03:51 PM »

Not all adults can manage to easily rise above their discomfort at being mistakenly addressed. It can however be a growth experience.

20 years ago, as CC of the CAP unit then aboard NAWC-AD Pax River (southern Maryland) we had a group of cadets mistake a very large female Senior Chief for a male. Since she was wearing khakis, is six four like me, had a short haircut, and was working late and came out of the next door building unexpectedly in the dark. They crisply saluted with a "Good evening, Sir". She blew, and (again, in the dark) mistaking them for active duty (I told them to take that as an implied compliment). After being loud for a moment (a la "I am not an officeryoudontcallmesir and I am a FEMALE"), I stepped outside, asked if I could help, and defused the situation. She accepted an invite to step inside and talk it out, and we ended up with embarrassed mutual apologies and a requested briefing on CAP for her. Admitted that she was carrying some emotional baggage from being in the bow wave of AD female maintainers, and that it made her touchy, and that she needed to toughen up. She ended up returning to give presentations to the unit, and I ended up working with her on what is now the F-35 (she was my lead Navy NCO for the maintainer working group).

But, you have to be ready as a unit to support your teammate in correcting and defusing those awkward first encounters, ready as a leader to step in to de-escalate such situations, and (as Hornet states) ready as an individual to toughen up if you present unusually/atypically, and not jump to attributing a lack of respect where a simple mistake occurs.

I realize that last, especially, is counter to some cultural elements these days, but we need not devolve to the baser impulses.


V/r
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NIN
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« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2019, 08:01:09 PM »

<snippage>
Any deviation from that is going to be met with a level of awkwardness, none of which is ill-intended. But that cadet is going to be "out in the world" and will be greeted quite frequently by other cadets (who may visually see, say, a female) who will say "Good evening, Ma'am." That's just what should be expected, because the other 26,951 cadets in CAP do not know that this person identifies otherwise or prefers to be called otherwise, and they have no regulation or guidance that says to call them a third option. It is key to understand that there is no disrespect intended by any of these people, but they simply won't know until they're told otherwise. (The same goes for androgynous cadets...females with short haircuts, males with "baby faces"). "Good evening, Si—oh, my apologies, Ma'am."

While at the local level, there may be a courtesy established to respect that cadet, the remainder of Civil Air Patrol has zero clue. You might need to explain that to that cadet, point to the manuals, and help them to understand what to expect.

And more practically speaking, we don't have a "third gender uniform" so there's going to be immediate visual confusion.

I see a tie tab versus a necktie, or a female flight cap/service coat/untucked blouse shirt, my lizard brain clicks into "ma'am" mode.  Same goes for the visual cues of a male uniform.

Individuals addressing a cadet (or senior) of another gender that does not correspond to the uniform type are going to make that mistake, probably more often than not.

(Obviously, the utility uniforms are far less gender-cueing, and there you're prone to sir/ma'am mistakes at all times without the additional layer of a 3rd gender)

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etodd
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« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2019, 08:24:35 PM »

The key question to ask them is "what pronouns do you prefer?"  The person will be happy you asked and glad to tell you.
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« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2019, 08:43:42 PM »

The key question to ask them is "what pronouns do you prefer?"  The person will be happy you asked and glad to tell you.

This is not a "pronoun" issue this is a courtesies / greeting issue, and there is no "other" greeting in this context.

The only option, within the current paradigm, is to refer to the member by grade and last name.
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TheSkyHornet
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« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2019, 09:00:26 PM »

The only option, within the current paradigm, is to refer to the member by grade and last name.

That may apply in garrison at the unit. But that's not going to apply at Encampment or any other activity at which the cadet is present.

If that cadet goes to a Wing Conference, or Encampment, or NCSA, and meets someone who has no idea who this cadet is, they're going to be greeted 100% with a "Good (whatever), Ma'am/Sir." It's only going to be those two.

Unless you give them a special insignia for their gender, you can edit out the rest of the population on what they've been taught/trained to do or say.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2019, 09:07:01 PM »

That may apply in garrison at the unit. But that's not going to apply at Encampment or any other activity at which the cadet is present.

Actually, this is more appropriate for encampment or other environments where you don't know the person, or need to get their attention from behind.

No one is going to be insulted being referred to by their grade and last name or just their grade. 

Regardless, this is something CAP needs to "address" (see what I did there?), since it has a much more inclusive environment then
it's Uncle Blue.

I would posit that adopting a gender neutral "Sir" for all officers, including Seniors would suffice.
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NIN
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« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2019, 10:23:02 PM »



I would posit that adopting a gender neutral "Sir" for all officers, including Seniors would suffice.

Mr. Saavik approves

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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
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Spam
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« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2019, 10:28:08 PM »



I would posit that adopting a gender neutral "Sir" for all officers, including Seniors would suffice.

Mr. Saavik approves

Only the Robin Curtis Saavik would, though.

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xyzzy
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« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2019, 12:51:00 AM »

I would posit that adopting a gender neutral "Sir" for all officers, including Seniors would suffice.

Some cadets don't see a whole lot of polite speech outside of CAP. So their experience in CAP should be something they can use outside CAP when good manners are needed, because they aren't learning it anywhere else. Therefore, CAP shouldn't go off on our own; we should follow the traditions of the military and polite society. Sometimes we might need to get out ahead of society in general if society is mistreating people, but I don't think there is a consensus for unisex "sir", even in considerate sectors of society.
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etodd
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« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2019, 01:24:19 AM »

But Margaret didn't like being called sir by Radar. Made her mad! LOL
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« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2019, 01:55:11 AM »

I would posit that adopting a gender neutral "Sir" for all officers, including Seniors would suffice.

Some cadets don't see a whole lot of polite speech outside of CAP. So their experience in CAP should be something they can use outside CAP when good manners are needed, because they aren't learning it anywhere else. Therefore, CAP shouldn't go off on our own; we should follow the traditions of the military and polite society. Sometimes we might need to get out ahead of society in general if society is mistreating people, but I don't think there is a consensus for unisex "sir", even in considerate sectors of society.

Sadly, society these days is many things, but "polite" isn't one of them, however there are a lot of Tactical Assault Moms
actively looking for a reason to be outraged, and this issue is already well ahead of CAP, precisely because of its current stance on the matter.
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Fester
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Posts: 283

« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2019, 02:01:45 AM »

That may apply in garrison at the unit. But that's not going to apply at Encampment or any other activity at which the cadet is present.

Actually, this is more appropriate for encampment or other environments where you don't know the person, or need to get their attention from behind.

No one is going to be insulted being referred to by their grade and last name or just their grade. 

Regardless, this is something CAP needs to "address" (see what I did there?), since it has a much more inclusive environment then
it's Uncle Blue.

I would posit that adopting a gender neutral "Sir" for all officers, including Seniors would suffice.

How, exactly, is "Sir" gender neutral?

noun
noun: sir; plural noun: sirs; noun: Sir; plural noun: Sirs
used as a polite or respectful way of addressing a man, especially one in a position of authority.
"excuse me, sir"
used to address a man at the beginning of a formal or business letter.
"Dear Sir"
(in Britain) used as a title before the given name of a knight or baronet.
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1stLt, CAP
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CAP Talk  |  Cadet Programs  |  Cadet Programs Management & Activities  |  Topic: Addressing officers of 3rd gender
 


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