In a June 17, 2014 memorandum, signed by Army Secretary John McHugh, the Army is opening approximately 33,000 more jobs to women.
The directive states, “Effective immediately, the Department of the Army is opening all positions in open occupations to women.”
The change does not include currently closed occupations in engineer (12B enlisted), field artillery (13 B/D/F), armor (19A,B,C,D,K,Z) and infantry (11A,B,C,Z) units.
The majority of the open jobs are expected to be found in maneuver battalions from about 40 brigade combat teams.
The Army’s plan is to transition female officers and female senior enlisted soldiers to create a support network for junior enlisted soldiers.
Even with the new directive, female soldiers still can’t be infantrymen. But females now can fill previously denied jobs in infantry battalion HQs that include chaplain, intelligence analyst, health care specialist, paralegal, signal sergeant and supply sergeant. Women weren’t previously allowed to serve in these battalion roles because, regardless of the MOS, they were barred from being assigned to combat units below the brigade levels.
The opening of these occupations to all soldiers allows the Army to select the most qualified soldiers for these positions, regardless of gender.
The Army has been inching closer to this moment for some time. Back in May, 2012, nine active duty Basic Combat Training (BCT)’s began assigning women to their maneuver battalions’ headquarters in Military Occupational Specialty (MOS)’s that are already open to women.In July of 2013, seventeen more BCTs began doing the same thing.
According to the memorandum, Commanders at all levels are responsible for adhering to this directive. The Army’s Human Resources Command, as well as personnel staffs at all divisions, brigade and battalion levels “must actively manage the assignment of women to ensure the appropriate manning of female cadre role models.”
Since May, 2012, the Army has opened approximately 55,000 positions to women across active duty, the National Guard and the Reserves.
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Military Connection: Army Opens More MOSs to Females: By Debbie Gregory