Statement regarding the use of gender-neutral language
6 August 2018
Reports regarding Defence requiring the use of gender-neutral language are wrong.
ADFA Cadets are not being told that they should not use terms like him or her.
As was explained to the journalist prior to publishing, the Department has not, and is not intending, to issue a directive on the use of gender-neutral language.
For example, every day ADFA cadets address their seniors as Sir and Ma’am. This has not, and is not, changing.
There are around 80,000 personnel in the Australian Defence Force. Supervisors and commanders are required to lead teams from all walks of life, who often work, eat and sleep in close proximity for extended periods.
Commanders must be skilled in harnessing these diverse backgrounds and experiences in their teams to deliver what is required.
Effective teamwork is at the centre of ADF capability and it is built on respect and cohesion.
Members of the Australian Defence Force are required to work with each other, and address each other, in a respectful manner. This includes members addressing each other by rank and using the customary military compliments.