The Fayetteville Observer, N.C.
The Air Force has updated its writing guide to allow airmen and Space Force guardians to use pronouns in email signature blocks, letters and other official documents.
According to a December news release, The LGBTQ Initiatives Team, or LIT, a part of the Department of the Air Force Barrier Analysis Working Group, advocated for the change.
In a Dec. 18 Tweet responding to the guidance, Republican Rep. Greg Murphy, whose Eastern North Carolina congressional district includes Jacksonville, characterized the new guidance as the progressive left” infiltrating the military.
“Shouldn’t we be worried about military preparedness rather than pronouns,” Murphy tweeted.
Gina Ortiz Jones, under secretary for the Air Force, recognized the LGBTQ Initiatives Team for “helping us realize this opportunity to be a more inclusive force.”
“An inclusive force is a mission-ready force,” Ortiz Jones said.
“The change request was driven by awareness of a restrictive policy that was being used against transgender airmen and guardians who were authentically representing themselves,” said Lt. Col. Bree Fram, a LIT transgender policy team co-leader. “It was also important for many individuals often confused as being a different gender in their communications.”
Fram said allowing pronouns in a signature block is a quick and simple way to eliminate confusion and promise an inclusive culture.
“The use of correct pronouns is an easy way to show care and respect for airmen and guardians as individuals, and can help the ( Air Force) retain highly qualified individuals,” Fram said.
Master Sgt. Jamie Hash, the other LIT transgender policy team co-lead, said the change eliminates confusion for people with non-Anglo/Western or gender-neutral names.
The official guidance also further acknowledges non-binary military members and civilians, Hash said.
According to the update in the Air Force’s writing guide, signature blocks should include name, rank, service affiliation, duty title, organization name, phone numbers and social media contact information.
“The use of pronouns (he/him, she/her, or they/them) in an email signature block is authorized but not required,” the guidance states.
Pronouns can be placed immediately after the name in parentheses or on separate lines within the signature block, the guidance states.
Staff writer Rachael Riley can be reached at email@example.com or 910-486-3528.
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