Combat Service Opportunities for Women: Expansion and Progress Issues


Cassandra Schultz

Series: Women’s Issues
BISAC: LAW068000

Over the past two decades of conflict, women have served with valor and continue to serve on combat aircraft, naval vessels, and in support of ground combat operations. The expansion of roles for women in the armed forces has evolved since the early days of the military when women were restricted by law and policy from serving in certain occupations and units. Women are not precluded by law from serving in any military unit or occupational specialty. However, a 1994 Department of Defense (DOD) policy prevented women from being assigned to units below brigade level where the unit’s primary mission was to engage directly in ground combat. This policy barred women from serving in infantry, artillery, armor, combat engineers, and special operations units of battalion size or smaller.

On January 24, 2013, then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta rescinded the rule that restricted women from serving in combat units and directed the military departments to review their occupational standards and assignment policies for implementation no later than January 1, 2016. This book reviews the issues for Congress of having women in combat. It also assesses the status of service efforts to open positions and occupations to women, including steps to identify and mitigate potential challenges; extent the services’ efforts to validate gender-neutral occupational standards are consistent with statutory and Joint Staff requirements; and extent DOD is tracking, monitoring, and providing oversight of the services’ integration plans.
(Imprint: Nova)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Women in Combat: Issues for Congress
(Kristy N. Kamarck)

Military Personnel: DOD Is Expanding Combat Service Opportunities for Women, but Should Monitor Long-Term Integration Progress
(United States Government Accountability Office)

Memorandum re: Women in the Service Implementation Plan
(General Martin E. Dempsey)

Memorandum re: Elimination of the 1994 Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule
(General Martin E. Dempsey and Leon E. Panetta)


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