Assessing the Assignment Policy for Army Women
The current U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) policy for assigning military women dates to a 1994 memorandum from then-Secretary of Defense Les Aspin. During the ensuing years, the U.S. military has undergone significant technological and organizational transformation that has resulted in changes in how the military organizes and fights. Specifically, the Army's recent transformation to modular brigades, as well as the differences between military missions in Iraq -- and the global war on terrorism (GWOT) more generally -- and military missions fought on linear battlefields during past military engagements, prompted concern among some members of Congress about the role of women in military operations in Iraq. Reflecting that, Section 541(b) of Public Law 109-163 requires the Secretary of Defense to submit a report on the current and future implementation of DoD policy for assigning military women. This monograph is intended as input into DoD decision making and focuses on Army operations in Iraq. In particular, it focuses on the Army's brigade combat teams (BCTs) that deployed to Iraq in a modular configuration, paying specific attention to the new organic relationships of these BCTs with brigade support battalions (BSBs). This research was sponsored by the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness and was conducted within the Forces and Resources Policy Center of the RAND National Defense Research Institute.
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Chapter One Introduction
Chapter Two Is There a Shared Interpretation of the Assignment Policy for Army Women?
Chapter Three Is the Army Complying with the Assignment Policy?
Chapter Four Is the Assignment Policy Appropriate for Future Military Operations?
Chapter Five Conclusions and Recommendations
Appendix A Aspin 1994 Memorandum
Appendix B The Difference Between an Assignment Policy and an Employment Policy
Appendix C Opportunities Available to Army Women
Appendix D Army Women Deployed to Iraq
Appendix E Interviews with Senior Army OSD and JS Personnel and Members of Congress
Appendix F Interviews and Focus Groups with Personnel Recently Returned from Iraq
Appendix G Army Modularity Asymmetric Threats and Nonlinear Battlefields
Appendix H Female Army Recipients of the Combat Action Badge
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Army assignment policy Army operations Army policy Army women Army’s assigned to units assigning women assignment of women BCTs Branch BSTB closed to women collocated with direct combat arms command convoy corps current assignment policy current policy David S. C. Chu definition of direct deployed direct combat mission direct combat units direct ground combat doctrine DoD and Army DoD policy enemy enemy’s assault engage enlisted Exclude women female service members Field artillery fire focus groups HBCTs Headquarters HUMINT infantry interaction interviews and focus Les Aspin maneuver battalion maneuver units Medical Military intelligence military women mission of direct objectives operations in Iraq participants Pay Grade percent policy for women preclude women primary mission proximity repelling the enemy’s restrictions returned service members routine mission Secretary of Defense self-defense missions sergeant specialist Support Battalion support units technician Title Closed U.S. Army Reserve U.S. Department unit’s warrant officer