Timeline of major events for the integration of women in the armed forces

2015 Congress issues validation criteria to develop gender-neutral occupational standards

2013 DoD rescinds Direct Ground Combat and Assignment Rule, removing barriers to assigning women to combat units and occupations, and directs implementation by January 1, 2016. Exception to policy requires approval by the chairman and the joint chiefs of staff and then the secretary of defense

2012 DoD eliminates co-location restriction from Direct Ground Combat and Assignment Rule

2011 Congress mandates review of the Direct Ground Combat and Assignment Rule

2010 DoD notifies Congress of intent to allow women to serve on submarines.

2009 Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act established the Military Leadership Diversity Commission, and was tasked with studying the “establishment and maintenance of fair promotion and command opportunities for ethnic- and gender-specific members of the Armed Forces.” Focused on officers at the O-5 or higher level. The Commission recommended DoD take deliberate steps to open additional career fields and units involved in direct ground combat to women

2008 The Military Leadership Diversity Commission is established to review promotion and command opportunities in the armed services by ethnicity and gender

2006 Congress mandates 30-day in-session notification for changes to 1994 Direct Ground Combat and Assignment Rule or opening or closing of military career fields to women

2005 Sergeant Leigh Ann Hester, an Army soldier, became the first female soldier awarded the Silver Star since World War II and the first to be cited for close combat action

2000 Based on recommendations by the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS), efforts were made by the Pentagon to open up assignments for women on submarines. Any concerns in this arena were more centered on issues of privacy and habitability, rather than on the dangers of combat. Congress mandates a 30-day (in-session) notice of any change that would open assignment of women to Navy submarines

1993 Congress establishes requirements for gender-neutral occupational standards and repeals prohibition of women serving on combatant vessels 1994 “Risk rule” rescinded, and DoD issues the Direct Ground Combat and Assignment Rule, limiting women from being assigned to units below the brigade level whose primary mission is to engage in indirect combat on the ground

1991 Presidential Commission on Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces established. Congress repeals prohibition of women flying combat aircraft

1988 DoD implements the “risk rule,” excluding women from noncombat units or missions if the risk of exposure to direct combat, hostile fire, or capture were equal to or greater than the risks in the combat units they support

1978 Women permitted permanent assignment on noncombatant Navy ships and temporary duty up to 6 months on other ships

1975 Women allowed admission to military service academies

1967 Limits on percent of women in the military repealed

1948 Women’s Armed Services Integration Act of 1948 passed, making women permanent part of the military, albeit prohibited from assignment to combatant aircraft and naval vessels, and limiting women in the military to 2% of enlisted and 10% of officers

1908 Navy Nurse Corps established

1901 Army Nurse Corps established

Timetable: Saitzyk, A. R., Harvey, S., Landes, A., Long, C., & Porter, R. (2017). Becoming and Being: The Journey of the Woman Warrior. In Handbook of Military Psychology (pp. 399-414). Springer, Cham.

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