The Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard say they need hundreds of more sailors. (The Canadian Press)

Seaman to sailor: Royal Canadian Navy adopts inclusive, gender-neutral term for junior ranks

New English rank name will match the French version, navy says

The Royal Canadian Navy has chosen a new term for its ranks as the institution seeks to become more inclusive and attract a wider pool of recruits.

The navy announced Thursday (Aug. 27) that it had changed “seaman” to “sailor” throughout its ranks after a survey of more than 18,000 Canadians. Its junior ranks will soon be known as Sailor Third Class (formerly Ordinary Seaman), Sailor Second Class (formerly Able Seaman), Sailor First Class (formerly Leading Seaman), and Master Sailor (formerly Master Seaman).

“These changes help retain the history of these roles and aligns the English rank designation with the existing ranks in French,” the Canadian Armed Forces said in a statement. The changes are scheduled to come into effect in early September.

READ MORE: Royal Canadian Navy to replace ‘seaman’ in rank titles with gender-neutral term

READ MORE: Admiral lashes out at ‘hateful’ comments as Navy looks to drop ‘seaman’


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