Department of Navy will prosecute Marines for laughing when addressing sailors as “seamen”

Norfolk, VA – The Department of the Navy has updated their guidance to all personnel who fall under their jurisdiction, which includes the Marine Corps. In an effort to combat hazing and sexual harassment within its ranks, Marines will now be prosecuted under Article 93 for “any laughter or subtle facial expressions” when using the word “seamen” to address lower enlisted Sailors. Seamen is the title for those in the grades of E1-E3 in the Navy, and the term has often been a source of razzing among the other branches of the military. “We can’t do anything about the other branches, but we can address the behavior within the Marine Corps, and we are” stated Commander Jerrall, a spokesperson for the Navy. “It’s not funny. This kind of crude, boorish behavior will no longer be tolerated. If a Marine so much as draws the corner of his mouth into a slight smirk, he’ll wish he hadn’t.” We spoke to several Marines who thought we were joking, but when we showed them the policy, they started laughing and making jokes saying, “I guess we’ll have to ‘swallow’ our desire to laugh and refrain from ‘spitting’ out any jokes. This is only going to make things worse for them.” This policy may not have been well thought out, but we’ll check back in a few months to update on how the issue has progressed.

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