In the latest step towards improving inclusivity, soldiers have been banned from referring to each other as ‘lads’.

It’s all part of the Army’s gender equality drive.

Troops are being told not to use the word because it may cause offence. It was said it shouldn’t be used even if no women are present.

The 22 Engineer Regiment have been given the instructions in a bid to modernise the army and make a more welcoming environment.

As well as ‘lads’, words such as ‘mankind’ and ‘sportsmanship’ have also been banned. The armed forces is attempting to become a gender-neutral organisation.

They have also spent millions of pounds on gender-neutral bathroom facilities at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the Army’s officer training centre, and other bases.

Values And Standards

This is all due to the Ministry of Defence’s joint equality, diversity and inclusion unit, known as Jedi.

The 22 Engineer Regiment’s sergeant major gave orders to all troops taking part in online meetings.

He said ‘values and standards’ [V and S] had been slacking recently while using Zoom calls or Microsoft Teams meetings to conduct military business.

He said: ‘There has been a drop in V and S over the last few weeks… Saluting/bracing up [coming to attention]… make sure people are getting paid the correct compliments… All are to remember D and I [diversity and inclusion] – “gents”, “men”, “lads” and other phrases are not to be used.


Since 2018 women have been able to apply for all military roles.

Gender and age-neutral fitness tests have also been introduced, with the same standards required of male and female troops in tests such as press-ups and running.

However, many soldiers are frustrated by the latest guidance.

One serving soldier said: ‘I’ve served on operations with lots of women. I didn’t meet one who was offended by the word “lads”.

‘Someone of such a sensitive nature, be they male or female, would not last five minutes.

‘I think the bosses are trying to solve a problem which frankly doesn’t exist.

‘There is no engrained or subconscious bias in the use of words like “lads”… This is nonsense.’

Piers Morgan

Needless to say, one person who is furious with the guidance is Piers Morgan.

The former GMB presenter tweeted: “FFS. Anyone that easily offended should not be in the British Army.”

However, critics have been quick to hit back at his anger: “Could it be that the regiment in question is trying to be more inclusive of the female officers?”

“Are you against female soldiers?

“I’m starting to get the impression you may be a tad misogynistic Mr Morgan.”

Someone else added: “Think from a women’s view, often being the sole female in a meeting, if the commanding officer is using ‘c’mon lads this, well done lads that’, it is easy to feel excluded.

“Overall the laddish culture is something lads should be encouraged to grow out of by the time they join the army.”

Meanwhile, a few people agreed with Piers:

“We’re not going to be able to speak to each other at this rate.”

Another responded: “I’m female and have served in the Army.

“I use lads either to mean some blokes in general or some blokes & women who are doing good stuff for their country.

“I was watching a WW2 resistance film this weekend and there was a bunch of brave men and women so it was ‘Come on lads!'”

Do you agree with the decision?

Image via Alamy