Gender Issues:

Perceptions of Readiness of Selected Units

NSIAD-99-120: Published: May 13, 1999. Publicly Released: May 13, 1999.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on military servicemembers' perceptions regarding the impact women have had on selected combat-oriented units, focusing on: (1) the perceptions of men and women on their personal readiness; (2) the readiness of men and women in their unit; and (3) unit readiness.

GAO noted that: (1) the majority of men and women that GAO surveyed about their personal readiness said they were well or very well prepared to perform their wartime jobs considering their training, physical, and mental preparedness; (2) over 70 percent of men and women said they could deploy on short notice with no problems or only minor problems; (3) GAO also asked servicemembers about their perceptions regarding the readiness of men and women in their units; (4) GAO's questions dealt with training and job performance, willingness and availability to deploy, and physical preparedness to deploy; (5) men and women agreed that they were trained equally to complete their wartime missions and would perform their wartime jobs equally well; (6) generally, men believed that they were more physically prepared and were more willing to deploy; (7) women believed that men and women were equally prepared physically and equally willing to deploy; (8) since these units have only recently opened to women, GAO also asked about the impact women have on the readiness on their unit; and (9) although men tended to view the impact of women on unit readiness less positively than women, more than half the men indicated that women affect readiness either no differently from men or in a positive way.

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