Assessing the Assignment Policy for Army Women

Assessing the Assignment Policy for Army Women

Margaret C. Harrell
Laura Werber Castaneda
Peter Schirmer
Bryan W. Hallmark
Jennifer Kavanagh
Daniel Gershwin
Paul Steinberg
Copyright Date: 2007
Edition: 2
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 184
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/mg590osd
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  • Book Info
    Assessing the Assignment Policy for Army Women
    Book Description:

    Since current policies for assigning military women were issued, the U.S. Army has changed how it organizes and fights. Assessing the Assignment Policy for Army Women considers whether the Army is adhering to the assignment policies as well as the appropriateness of the current U.S. Department of Defense and Army assignment policies, given how units are operating in Iraq.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4271-2
    Subjects: Management & Organizational Behavior, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Summary
    (pp. xi-xxii)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxiii-xxiv)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxv-xxvi)
  8. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-12)

    In January 1994, informed by the report of the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women to the Armed Forces, then–Secretary of Defense Les Aspin established the current U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) assignment policy for women in the military with a memorandum specifying rules to replace the prior “risk rule.”¹ The risk rule had precluded women from serving in occupations or units characterized by the risk of exposure to direct combat, hostile fire, or capture. The current DoD assignment policy for military women instead establishes that military women can be assigned to all positions for which they are...

  9. CHAPTER TWO Is There a Shared Interpretation of the Assignment Policy for Army Women?
    (pp. 13-28)

    A policy crafted for a linear battlefield and threat uses words that are not appropriate for the characteristics of military operations today. As a result, problems arise in translating and determining the objectives of the policies. Therefore, this chapter discusses the perceived meaning and objectives of the assignment policy as they apply to women in the Army. We assess whether the precise prescription, or the “letter” of the current assignment policy, is understandable and then discuss whether the purpose, intent, or “spirit” of the policy is discernable. This analysis is based on interviews with Army, OSD, and JS personnel, as...

  10. CHAPTER THREE Is the Army Complying with the Assignment Policy?
    (pp. 29-46)

    This chapter considers whether the Army is currently complying with the assignment policy for women. This chapter focuses on operations in Iraq, as portrayed in the sessions conducted with recently returned service members, to consider whether the Army is assigning women to units consistent with the assignment policy. There are three primary considerations in this assessment. First, are women assigned to direct combat units, i.e., maneuver units below the brigade level (or battalion size or smaller)?¹ Second, have the support units to which women are assigned gained a mission of direct combat? Third, are there women in units that are...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR Is the Assignment Policy Appropriate for Future Military Operations?
    (pp. 47-62)

    Chapter Three focused on whether the Army is currently complying with the assignment policies for Army women, given how units are operating in Iraq. It did not challenge whether the language and concepts in the policy were appropriate or could be improved. This chapter considers a different question and explores the DoD and Army assignment policies themselves, in the context of the Army’s transformation and operations in Iraq, to assess whether the language and concepts of the Army and DoD assignment policies are appropriate for military operations in the future, which could resemble Army operations in Iraq, and to the...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE Conclusions and Recommendations
    (pp. 63-70)

    This monograph has considered whether the current DoD and Army assignment policies for women are understandable, whether the Army is complying with the DoD and the Army policies, and whether the language and concepts in the assignment policies are appropriate for future operations, given what we have learned from Army operations in Iraq.

    We find that the precise meaning, or “letter” of each policy is not clearly understood, largely because of the asymmetric nature of warfare and the nonlinear battlefield in Iraq, which renders important elements of the policy, such as the termsforwardandenemyless meaningful. Additionally, the...

  13. APPENDIX A Aspin 1994 Memorandum
    (pp. 71-74)
  14. APPENDIX B The Difference Between an Assignment Policy and an Employment Policy
    (pp. 75-78)
  15. APPENDIX C Opportunities Available to Army Women
    (pp. 79-102)
  16. APPENDIX D Army Women Deployed to Iraq
    (pp. 103-120)
  17. APPENDIX E Interviews with Senior Army, OSD, and JS Personnel and Members of Congress
    (pp. 121-128)
  18. APPENDIX F Interviews and Focus Groups with Personnel Recently Returned from Iraq
    (pp. 129-136)
  19. APPENDIX G Army Modularity, Asymmetric Threats, and Nonlinear Battlefields
    (pp. 137-142)
  20. APPENDIX H Female Army Recipients of the Combat Action Badge
    (pp. 143-150)
  21. Bibliography
    (pp. 151-158)