Army says 33K positions now open to women

| July 11, 2014 | 0 Comments
Capt. Rachel Hanlon, center (then a first lieutenant shown in the Hawaii Army Weekly on p. A-1, Nov. 23, 2012), completes a 12-mile road march on Schofield Barracks, Nov. 8, 2012. The change in policy means there are no more units in the Army that are closed to women. (File photo)

Capt. Rachel Hanlon, center (then a first lieutenant shown in the Hawaii Army Weekly on p. A-1, Nov. 23, 2012), completes a 12-mile road march on Schofield Barracks, Nov. 8, 2012. The change in policy means there are no more units in the Army that are closed to women. (File photo)

David Vergun, Army News Service

WASHINGTON — Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh signed a directive authorizing more opportunities for women to serve in a wider range of roles within the Army.

This authorization results in the opening of about 33,000 positions in units that were once closed to women, said Col. Linda Sheimo, chief of the Command Programs and Policy Division, Directorate of Military Personnel Management, Army G1 (Personnel).

The 30-day congressional notification required by law before implanting this change in policy was completed April 7.

“Soon, our formations down to company level will begin having female Soldiers arrive for duty to serve in positions once closed to women,” said Lt. Gen. Howard B. Bromberg, deputy chief of staff, Army Personnel. “However, this will not happen overnight. We will continue to incrementally fill these positions with Soldiers who have the ability, are qualified and have the proven performance to complete the mission.”

As a part of the incremental strategy, the directive states “female leaders will be assigned first to provide a support network for junior female Soldiers and to offer advice to the unit’s male leadership.”

“The decision to open these positions to female Soldiers was made after U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command completed extensive validation studies, including physical fitness requirements,” Sheimo said. “Nevertheless, women (as well as men) who do not meet the standards will not be allowed into these MOSs (military occupational specialties).”

Sheimo explained that the standards are fair and transparent.

“This initiative further aids Army leaders to select the best qualified Soldiers for each position within the Army profession,” Sheimo said. “The Army’s efforts across various spectrums will also ensure all Soldiers have the opportunity to serve successfully.”

Bromberg will issue additional personnel assignment guidance and unit training requirements in follow-on military personnel messages, according to the directive.

This change in policy means there are no more units in the Army that are closed to women. A closed unit was one that was expected to see combat. Because of this, women could not serve in those units, even if they served in MOSs that were open to women. With the change, women can serve anywhere in the Army, even in combat units, within an MOS that is open to women.

By Jan. 1, 2016, the Army will have completed validation studies for all 14 MOSs that are currently closed to women.

Excluded MOSs
The new directive does not include changes to closed occupations in the Army.
There are 14 MOSs in the Army that are currently closed to women:

•Armor (19A/B/C/D/K/Z),
•Engineer (12B enlisted),
•Field artillery (13B/D/F), and
•Infantry (11A/B/C/Z).

Additionally, the new Army directive does not affect the special operations community.

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Category: Army News Service, News, Training

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