CRB, at the request of CalVet and the Commission on the Status of Women, surveyed California’s women veterans to find out what they currently need, what they needed at the time they transitioned from the military, and what are their sociodemographics. This report presents the findings of that survey. Women veterans told us they need help finding a job when they leave the service and that they currently want physical and mental health care. The needs for women-specific and senior-specific services are growing needs in the women veterans community as well."
Rebecca E. Blanton and Lisa K. Foster (CRB-12-004)
Since reporting to their boats in November, 25 women who broke one of the Navy's final gender barriers have gone on patrol and been accepted among their crews.
"The men adjusted to us being there, and we adjusted to them," said Lt. j.g. Megan Bittner of the USS Ohio gold crew. "It was quick. There were no big problems. No stumbling blocks along the way. It was just learning as a junior officer how you fit on the boat."
The Washington Post reports that Army leaders have begun to study the prospect of sending female soldiers to the service’s prestigious Ranger school — another step in the effort to broaden opportunities for women in the military.
Gen. Raymond Odierno, Army chief of staff, said Wednesday that he’s asked senior commanders to provide him with recommendations and a plan this summer. And while he stressed that no decisions have been made, he suggested that Ranger school may be a logical next step for women as they move into more jobs closer to the combat lines.
“If we determine that we’re going to allow women to go in the infantry and be successful, they are probably at some time going to have to go through Ranger school,” Odierno told reporters. “If we decide to do this, we want the women to be successful.”
This DoD report explains the hardship military spouses face as they move from state to state with their service member. As a result of the many moves associated with military life, spouses working in professions that require state licenses or certification bear a higher high financial and administrative burden, since credentials often do not transfer from one state do to another state. This burden negatively impacts the chances for employment for more than 100,000 military spouses.
“Women are contributing in unprecedented ways to the military’s mission,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a statement heralding the change, which was detailed at a briefing Thursday. “We will continue to open as many positions as possible to women so that anyone qualified to serve can have the opportunity to do so.”
But the move still bans them from key infantry, armor and special operations units, leaving many advocates unimpressed.
Responding to an order from Congress, the Pentagon said it was tweaking the 1994 rules on the issue:
– Women will no longer be barred from jobs simply because those jobs require those holding them to be located with ground-combat units. That means women will be able to serve as tank mechanics, radio operators and in other support billets, opening up more than 13,000 jobs to women.
– Women will be permitted to serve in 800-troop combat battalions, a smaller unit – closer to the front — than the higher-level 4,000-strong brigades where they had been limited to serving in support roles further from the action. More than a thousand jobs will be open to women under this change, although many already have been serving in those jobs as temporary “attachments.”
The Defense Department received 3,191 reports of sexual assault last year, Panetta said yesterday. That’s 1 percent more than the 3,158 reported in the previous fiscal year and a 19 percent increase over five years, according to an annual review released in March.
“Because we assume that this is a very underreported crime, the estimate is that the actual number is closer to 19,000,” Panetta told reporters at the Pentagon. “I deeply regret that such crimes occur in the U.S. military, and I will do all that I can to prevent these crimes from occurring.”
Among the new measures to stop what Panetta called an “unacceptable” number of sexual assaults, the military will require its sexual-assault response coordinators and victim advocates to obtain nationally recognized certification and will extend confidential reporting and victim-support services to spouses and dependents.
The U.S. military is no longer a men’s club — almost 15 percent of today’s active-duty troops are women. But when it comes to military and veterans’ medical care, women soldiers remain a step behind — both on the front line, and back home.
While military and Veterans Affairs officials said they’re making steady progress, government and American Legion reports have raised concerns about a lack of women’s health equipment in field hospitals, a lack of privacy in military and VA medical centers, and the need for more expertise in women’s care among health care providers.
The annual reports on sexual harassment and violence at the three U.S. Military Service Academies provide data on reported sexual assaults involving cadets and/or midshipmen, as well as policies, procedures and processes implemented in response to sexual harassment and violence during the Academic Program Year.
The Defense Department said the nation’s military service academies had received 65 reports of sexual assault during the 2010-2011 academic year, the highest total since the Pentagon began maintaining data in 2004.
On Tuesday, the Defense Department said the nation’s military service academies had received 65 reports of sexual assault during the 2010-2011 academic year, the highest total since the Pentagon began maintaining data in 2004.
The academies reported 41 such assaults in the 2009-2010 academic year.
It’s unclear whether those figures represent a step in the wrong direction, with assaults actually on the rise, or a step in the right direction, with more victims willing to come forward to report assaults. The Defense Department said it “does not have the ability to conclusively identify the reasons for this increase in reporting behavior.”
The women who serve in today’s military differ from the men who serve in a number of ways. Compared with their male counterparts, a greater share of military women are black and a smaller share are married. Also, women veterans of the post-9/11 era are less likely than men to have served in combat and more likely to be critical of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In other ways, however, military women are not different from military men: they are just as likely to be officers; they joined the armed services for similar reasons; and post-9/11 veterans of both sexes have experienced a similar mix of struggles and rewards upon returning to civilian life.