Women in the Army: The Right Numbers - The Wrong Skills
ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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Women have played a role in the United States Army since Revolutionary times. Following a period of post-World War II strength fluctuations, the presence of female soldiers in the Active Component has grown eightfold in the last 25 years. Since 1978, when the Army, responding to legislative requirements, codified a new role for women with the implementation of Direct Combat Probability Coding, the opportunities for women positions skills open to females have increased to unprecedented levels. While increased opportunities have been presented across the spectrum of Combat Support and Combat Service Support skills, the actual growth of female strength has been concentrated almost entirely in the traditional fields of Administration, Medical and Communication Specialties. Individual soldiers, both male and female, are ill served by the personnel management system when they serve in skills where either sex is disproportionately represented. Unit readiness can become the ultimate bill payer when a commanders flexibility to reconstitute units is constrained by the absence of sufficient make replacements. As the nations manpower pool continues to dwindle, more and more reliance must be place on attracting and retaining female soldiers in nontraditional skills.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations