Defense

February 5, 2013

Army must complete analysis before opening jobs to women

Last month, the Secretary of Defense announced an end to the Direct Ground Combat Exclusion Rule for female soldiers. But the Army wants commanders in the field to know that it will be some time before they’ll be able to make any changes in their units. Pictured here, Pvt. Cicely Verstein practices marksmanship on a Fort Jackson, S.C., rifle range. Verstein will be the first female 91M Bradley Fighting Vehicle System maintainer, one of six military occupational specialties previously restricted to men. Other MOSs cannot open until the Army completes an analysis later this year.

Last month, the Secretary of Defense announced an end to the Direct Ground Combat Exclusion Rule for female soldiers. But the Army wants commanders in the field to know that it will be some time before they’ll be able to make any changes in their units.

“There will be no immediate changes,” said Col. Linda Sheimo, chief of the Command Programs and Policy Division at the Human Resources Policy Directorate, Army G-1. “In order to open any position that is closed, whether it is due to the military occupational specialty, or the unit’s mission, all the services have to submit a detailed request outlining the MOS, the unit, the numbers, and also a legal analysis, that has to go through the Army leadership to the Secretary of Defense.”

The Secretary of Defense, or SecDef, then has to notify Congress of the intent to open those positions, and Congress has a specific amount of time to consider the issue before anything in the services can change, Sheimo said.

“The very soonest that anything could happen would be this summer,” Sheimo said.

The Army now has more than 450 MOSs, about 20 of which are currently closed to female soldiers. Additionally, there are units in the Army that are closed to women, based on the mission of those units. So, within those units, even if there are jobs with MOSs that women are allowed to do elsewhere in the Army, women would not be allowed to serve in those MOSs within those specific units.

The SecDef’s announcement is expected to change the current policy, and could open up new opportunities for women in the Army and in the other services, Sheimo said.

“The intent of the policy change is to make every position open, by January 1st, 2016, regardless of gender, unless we get an approved exception to policy to keep it closed,” Sheimo explained.

Such exceptions, Sheimo said, must be approved by the SecDef and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The announcement by the SecDef amounts to a “reversal” of the current policy, Sheimo said. Where today, women are excluded from some jobs and units and a special exception must be approved in order to get women into those particular jobs; in the future, the policy will be that all jobs are open to women and if the services want to exclude women they must get a special approved exception that explains why they should be excluded.

The Army has not completed the analysis it needs in order to open any more MOSs or units to women, but the Army already has an effort underway to meet the SecDef’s suspense date.

“The Army is pursuing a very careful and deliberate approach,” she said. “As we move forward we will open units and/or MOSs as we complete the appropriate assessments, and we will submit those requests to Congress to open those positions.”

When the Army does eventually open units and MOSs to women, the service will focus not only on recruiting from the outside – but will also look for volunteers from inside the Army in order to fill important leadership roles in those units and MOSs, Sheimo said, for both enlisted Soldiers and officers.

“Leadership is a key element of success in this effort,” Sheimo said. “It’s very important to have a leadership cadre in place. Initially it will have to come from other MOSs and specialties.”

But for now, Sheimo said, commanders in the field should know that no new positions are open to women.

“The Army will not open any position before congressional notification has been done and the notification period is complete,” Sheimo said.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines October 29, 2014

News: Unmanned rocket explodes just six seconds after taking off - A NASA rocket due to be visible across the East Coast on its way to the International Space Station has blown up on the Launchpad. IG: Former chief of wounded warrior office broke law, DOD regs - The Defense Department inspector general has recommended “corrective action”...
 
 

News Briefs October 29, 2014

F-35C makes first landing at Virginia Beach Navy base The Navy says an operational F-35C joint strike fighter has landed at Naval Air Station Oceana for the first time. Naval Air Station Oceana is the Navy’s master jet base on the East Coast. The Navy says the plane came to the Virginia Beach base Oct....
 
 

Time to turn to American technology for space launch

For the first time since the Cold War, the United States has deployed armored reinforcements to Europe. To counter Russia’s aggression, several hundred troops and 20 tanks are now in the Baltic. Yet the U.S. military is still injecting millions into the Russian military industrial complex. In late August, the United Launch Alliance – the...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Joe Davila

Boeing, Air Force demonstrate Minuteman III readiness in flight test

Air Force photograph by Joe Davila Boeing supported the launch of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Sept. 23, 2014. Boeing supported the U.S. Air Force’s succ...
 
 

Pentagon going to court for refusing to release Sikorsky data

PETALUMA, Calif. – The Pentagon is refusing to release any data on any prime contractors participating in the 25-year-old Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program. The American Small Business League launched a program in 2010 to expose the fraud and abuse against small businesses the CSPTP had allowed. As a test the ASBL requested the most...
 
 
Northrop Grumman photograph

Raytheon Griffin C flight tests demonstrate in-flight retargeting capability

Northrop Grumman photograph Northrop Grumman has received a contract from the U.S. Marine Corps for low-rate initial production of the AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR). G/ATOR is the first ground-based multi-mi...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>