Band of Brothers... and Sisters: Developing a Strategy for Integrating Women into the Combat Rescue Officer Career Field
Technical Report,01 Aug 2016,22 Mar 2018
AIR FORCE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB United States
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As of 1 January 2016, across the Department of Defense, every combat position was opened to females. Currently, the Combat Rescue Officer CRO career field has not had any women attempt the training requirements in order to become fully qualified. To prepare for this integration of women into an all-male career field, leadership needs to understand the current perception of the CROs that are in the field now. This paper presents a foundation for the development of an assimilation strategy, by triangulating the insights from a sample of CROs, historical documents and researcher observations to produce recommendations for success. The researcher conducted a qualitative study, interviewing thirteen fully qualified CROs to gather their current perceptions, opinions, and insight on integrating women into their currently all-male career field. Data analysis revealed that the CROs are open-minded and accepting of women, as long as the entry standards are not lowered. The first step to a successful integration strategy is to understand current perceptions, as well as some drivers and barriers to culture change, and this paper provides that perspective for the career field leadership.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Forces and Organizations