The Army is set to open up 33,000 jobs to women starting as early as April 2014. The news come a year after the Department of Defense removed its ban on women in direct ground combat roles. The overturned policy was put in place in 1994 and banned women from being assigned to combat units below the brigade level.
Army Times — The Army will open about 33,000 positions to female soldiers in April as part of the Defense Department’s ongoing effort to open all military jobs to women.
The move, announced Thursday, comes a year after DoD eliminated its direct ground combat exclusion policy. The policy, which was put in place in 1994, barred women, regardless of their military occupational specialty, from being assigned to combat units below the brigade level.
In May 2012, after requesting an exception to policy, the Army launched a pilot program and began assigning women to maneuver battalion headquarters in nine active-duty brigade combat teams.
A year later, the Army expanded that effort to 17 more BCTs – eight in the active Army and nine in the Army National Guard – and placed women in maneuver battalions in MOSs that were already open to women.
Thursday’s announcement is the continuation of that effort, opening jobs in already open MOSs in maneuver battalions across the Army except in special operations units.
In April, when the service completes its latest Congressional notification, the Army will have opened to women about 55,000 positions in open MOSs across all three components since May 2012, said Col. Linda Sheimo, chief of the Command Programs and Policy Division at the Army G-1.
“Opening these positions ensures the Army is properly managing the talent of all our service members, balancing readiness and the needs of a smaller force, and positioning all soldiers for success with viable career paths,” Sheimo said.
The 33,000 additional positions that will be opened in April, following the completion of the Congressional notification process, will include jobs in 132 MOSs, Sheimo said.