Services submit plans on integrating women into all military jobs

U.S. Army photo by Spc. Nikayla Shodeen

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department has received plans from each of the services for implementing plans to integrate women into all positions in the military, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said today.

The office of the acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness received the plans, Cook said at a news conference.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced in December his decision to open all positions in the military to women, with no exceptions. Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel, the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, requested and was granted a short extension in providing his plan, Cook said.

That extension was to give Socom time to collaborate thoroughly with the services, because many of the actions critical to successfully integrating women into special operations specialties and units fall under service authority, Cook said.

Group Will Oversee Implementation

Cook noted that Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work and the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva, are chairing a group on implementing the decision.

The group will work with the services to oversee the short-term implementation of the decision, Cook explained, to ensure there are no unintended consequences on the joint force. The group will periodically update Carter and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., on the progress, he said.

The first meeting of the implementation group will take place this week, the press secretary said.

“The services and Special Operations Command will begin to execute the implementation of their approved plans as soon as practicable, but no later than April 1,” he added.