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Highlights

In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed issues relating to job opportunities for women in the military services, to determine how: (1) combat exclusion policies affected the number and assignment of women in the military; and (2) military procedures unrelated to combat exclusion limited job opportunities for women.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of the Navy 1. The Secretary of the Navy should direct the Commandant of the Marine Corps to provide open access on a gender-neutral basis to noncombat assignments now equally divided between men and women to reflect the gender composition of the general population.
Closed - Implemented
The Marine Corps was directed to open three of four specialties on a gender neutral basis. The fourth will remain closed because of combat requirements at the C-5 level. Action was taken as of December 16, 1988.
Department of the Navy 2. The Secretary of the Navy should consider berthing area configurations when establishing the male and female distribution of noncombat sea duty positions.
Closed - Implemented
The Navy has implemented a review of ship alteration plans to increase the number of women assigned to sea billets.
Department of the Air Force 3. To enable the services to obtain the most capable people overall, and to gain the maximum benefit possible from available resources, the Secretary of the Air Force should allow all unrestricted pilot and navigator openings to be available for competition based on individual qualifications without regard to gender.
Closed - Implemented
The Air Force has expanded the number of pilot and navigator positions open to women.
Department of the Army 4. To enable the services to obtain the most capable people overall, and to gain the maximum benefit possible from available resources, the Secretary of the Army should remove limits resulting from the implementation of accession goals for women enlistees.
Closed - Not Implemented
The Army disagreed with the recommendation. The Army believes that gender-neutral recruiting without specific accession goals would reduce the number of women accessed into the Army.
Department of the Navy 5. To enable the services to obtain the most capable people overall, and to gain the maximum benefit possible from available resources, the Secretary of the Navy should review the procedures used by officer career field managers for determining proposed female accession goals for women officers to eliminate unnecessary restrictions on job availability which may result from those procedures.
Closed - Implemented
The Navy completed its review of planning procedures for accession goals, and the new handbook was sent out for printing on August 8, 1990.

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