Accession Number:



Gender Issues: Analysis of Promotion and Career Opportunities Data

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

Corporate Author:

United States General Accounting Office Washington United States

Report Date:


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The role of women in the military has changed dramatically over the years. For example, women were not allowed to constitute more than 2 percent of the total enlisted force or be promoted beyond the rank of lieutenant colonel until 1967. In 1993 and 1994, significant changes in legislation and policy occurred that allowed women to fly combat aircraft, serve on combat ships, and liberalized the assignment policy for women. Under the current policy, women can be assigned to all positions for which they are qualified, except for those positions below the brigade level whose primary mission is to engage in direct combat on the ground. This direct ground combat exclusion policy impacts job opportunities in the Army and the Marine Corps more so than in the Air Force and the Navy. Women now comprise about 14 percent of the armed forces. The percentages vary among the services from about 5 percent for the Marine Corps, 13 percent for the Navy, 15 percent for the Army, and 17 percent for the Air Force.

Subject Categories:

  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement: