SOLDIERS in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers could be named Artisans under plans to axe male ranks.

Top Brass fear the role of Craftsman — given to REME privates — puts women off joining the equipment maintenance corps.

They are consulting on “gender-free nomenclature” in the 8,000-strong REME, which formed in 1942.

Corps Colonel Andrew Rogers’ suggested alternatives for Craftsman were Private, Technician, Engineering Technician, and Artisan and Technician.

He said Craftsman had been “iconic” since REME’s formation.

He added: “We now have a chance to consider a modern and inclusive alternative.” He urged soldiers to make suggestions.

An Army source said: “An artisan is a craftsman who works with their hands, it is what the REME do. The word been hijacked by hipsters making stone-baked sourdough for £50 a loaf.”

The consultation follows Navy moves to get sailors to use “crewed” instead of “manned”

The RAF is the only British service to have female- specific ranks.

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