Women in the Army
To enhance the readiness of the Army through the development and implementation of assignment policy for women within Congressional mandates, DoD guidance, and Army force structure projections while ensuring opportunities for service and promotion.
Army to begin Exception to Female Assignment Policy assessment period
Women in combat: Army to open 14K jobs, 6 MOSs (Army Times, 2 May 2012)
Army will open previously closed jobs, units to women (Army News, 27 April 2012)
Implementation Date Set for Opening New Assignments to Women (Department of Defense [DoD] news release, 26 April 2012)
Women have served in the United States Army since 1775, from the onset of the American Revolution to present Overseas Contingency Operations. Today, men and women train together in basic training units, and women Soldiers have served in 78.2% of all Army occupations and make up about 15.7% of the Army. Army Regulation 600-13, Army Policy for the Assignment of Female Soldiers, ensures that Army policy is consistent with Department of Defense guidance.
Department of Defense Women in Services Review 2012
On 1 March 2011, the Office of the Secretary of Defense was prompted by the FY11 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to initiate a Women in Services Review (WISR); each of the services were to review laws, policies and regulations regarding the service of women members of the Armed Forces to determine if any revisions were needed to ensure women service members have an equitable opportunity to compete and excel in the Armed Forces.
At present, DoDís Direct Combat Assignment Rule (DGCAR) policy states that women service members can be assigned to all positions for which they are qualified, except within units below the brigade level whose primary mission is to engage in direct combat on the ground. The Army co-location assignment restriction further states that women can serve in any officer or enlisted specialty or position, except in those specialties, positions or units (battalion size or smaller) which are assigned a routine mission to engage in direct combat, or which collocate routinely with units assigned a direct combat mission.
The report to Congress was due April 2011, yet Congress gave the Department of Defense (DoD) an extension to present the report to the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) 31 October 2011. However, the House was in recess on that date, and DoD took the opportunity to send the report back to the services for further review. The revised review was submitted to Congress 9 Feb 12. The review recommends all services align with DoD policy, effectively rescinding the Armyís collocation policy. This revision will result in the opening of six Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) and 80 units Ė more than 13,000 positions Ė to women. In addition, the review recommends approval of a request for exception to DoDís DGCAR policy from the Army, Navy and Marine Corps to open select positions to women in direct combat units at the battalion level in open military occupational specialties. Congress requires 30 days of continuous session to review the report; DoD nor any of the services will begin implementation of any revisions prior to 14 May 2012.
Exception to DGCAR Policy Implementation - Details
The exception to DGCAR effectively opens approximately 755 Army positions across nine Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) to women. The Army will begin an assessment period of the exception to policy on 14 May 12; Soldiers will have received orders to the participating units and will report on that day. All women Soldiers assigned will be company grade officers in the grade of 2LT-CPT or noncommissioned officers in the grade of E5-E7. The goal is to assign 35 Women Soldiers to these positions per each BCT. (For more details on participating BCTs and open MOSs, reference the Q&A section of this PAG.)
The Army will assess the impact of the exception to policy over a six-month period and provide a Joint Service report with the assessment period results and corresponding recommendations to the Secretary of Defense (SecDef) in November 2012. The Army intends to begin executing those recommendations shortly thereafter.
Celebrating Women in the Army
- Ceremony Honors Women Who Served in Vietnam
- Ironhorse Medic Provides Much More Than Relief
- Sgt. Crystal Kepler
- Sgt. Lisa Morales
- First Mother-Daughter USMA grads
- Witnessing Monumental Changes in the Army
- First woman Stryker driver
- Only neurologist in Iraq
- Deployed Mom Finds Inspiration
- 30th Anniversary of Army Gender Integration
- Anniversary honors achievements of women warriors
- Carol Jensen, Oct 2008, former WAC
- 14th Army (WAC) Band Reunion, Oct 2008
- Helen "Gig" Smith, Jan 2008, former WAC and Professional Women's Baseball Player
- CSM Helen Johnson and CSM Mary Lee, May 1981, former WAC First Sergeants
- MSG Lorraine Budreau, May 1981, former WAC Recruiter
- BG Mary Clarke, Dec 1975, Director Women's Army Corps
Comments, suggestions, feedback? E-mail the Women in the Army team and let us know what you think.