Three months after his historic decision to open all combat positions to women, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter today formally approved the final implementation plans prepared by the military services and U.S. Special Operations Command. This action allows them to carry out their plans to fully integrate women throughout the armed forces.
“When I announced my decision back in December to open all career fields to qualified women, I emphasized that the implementation of this change must be handled the right way, because the combat effectiveness of the world’s finest fighting force is paramount,” said Secretary Carter. “Having reviewed their exceptionally thorough work, I am pleased all of the services developed plans that will effectively carry out this change and make us even better in the future.”
Secretary Carter has detailed his views on the implementation plans in a Medium post published today that can be read here.
Before the secretary’s approval, the Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Paul Selva co-chaired an implementation group that reviewed each of the plans in detail. They determined that all the plans adequately addressed Secretary Carter’s seven guiding principles: transparent standards, population size, physical demands and physiological differences, conduct and culture, talent management, operating abroad, and assessment and adjustment.
The military services and USSOCOM can now execute their plans to open all previously-closed positions, occupations, specialties, career fields, and branches to women right away.
Links to Secretary Carter’s memo and implementation plans:
Release No: NR-080-16
March 10, 2016