The U.S. military will open on May 11 more than 6,200 new jobs to women in the Army and Marine Corps, but none of those positions include the frontline combat positions that have garnered the most attention since the Pentagon eliminated gender barriers in January.
The Army and Navy have requested making available another 6,265 positions to women, Jessica Wright, acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, wrote in an April 8 letter to lawmakers, which was first reported by the U.S. Naval Institute.
Those positions include slots in the Army's elite aviation unit that participated in the 2011 raid against Osama bin Laden, but not jobs as infantrymen or special operators that have always been exclusive to men.
"The positions covered by this notification are not positions with a primary mission to engage in direct combat," the letter states.
Frontline combat positions in the Infantry and Special Forces have created the most controversy because of questions about a woman’s strength in hand-to-hand combat. The positions specified in Wright’s letter include support positions in fields such as logistics, intelligence and health care.
Then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in January eliminated the Pentagon rule that prevented women from participating in certain combat units. He also ordered the services to fully integrate women by 2016.
Service leaders are still working on developing plans on how the military could integrate women into positions that typically see the most fighting. These plans will likely include gender-neutral physical standards.
"None of these positions require the development of additional gender-neutral physical standards," she wrote. "These positions will broaden women's opportunities and increase the ability of the Services to assess performance and inform future changes in assignment policy."
Under the changes, women can apply to become a pilot or hold other positions in the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, the unit that flew Navy SEALs on the mission to kill al-Qaeda leader bin Laden. The Marine Corps will also consider female service members for the position of ground intelligence officer.
Still, more than 230,000 positions in the military remain closed to women and only men are still required to register for the draft under the selective-service law, according to the letter.
"As positions in combat specialties, such as infantry, still remain closed … men and women are not similarly situated for purposes of the Military Selective Services Act.
Details of the specific jobs that will be opened to women can be found below. These jobs were transcribed directly from the letter.
The Army will expand the assignment of the below listed currently open occupations to women for company grade and non-commissioned officers (NCO) in nine Army National Guard and eight additional Active Brigade Combat Teams (BCT). This change will open 2,204 positions to women.
The officer occupational specialties opening in the additional BCTs are: 13A Fire Support Officer, Asst Effects Coordinator, S4, or Fire Support Team Chief 25A Battalion S6 (Signal/Communications Officer) 35D Battalion S2 or Assistant Battalion S2 (Intelligence Officer) 42B Battalion S1 (Human Resources Officer) 56A Chaplain 62B Field Surgeon or Medical Platoon Leader 65D Physician’s Assistant 70B Medical Operations Officer 74A Chemical, Biological, Radiation, Nuclear Officer 90A Multifunctional Logistician
The enlisted occupational specialties opening in the additional BCTs are: 25U30 Radio Retransmission Supervisor 25U40 Communications Section Chief 35F30 Intelligence Sergeant 35F40 Intelligence Sergeant 42A30 Human Resources Sergeant 42A40 Senior Human Resources Sergeant 56M20 Chaplain Assistant NCO 68W30 Health Care Sergeant 68W40 Health Care Platoon Sergeant 74D30 Chemical, Biological, Radiation, Nuclear NCO 92Y30 Supply Sergeant 92Y40 Senior Supply Sergeant
The eight additional Active BCTs are: 2d Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2d Infantry Division 3d Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2d Infantry Division 3d Brigade Combat Team, 3d Infantry Division 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division 2d Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division 2d Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division 3d Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division
The nine additional Guard BCTs are: Georgia, Vermont, Arkansas, Oregon, Iowa, Pennsylvania, New York, Minnesota, Louisiana
The Army will open positions to warrant officers and NCOs in eight additional occupational specialties currently open to women in the original nine BCTs reported to Congress in February 2012. This change will open 224 positions to women in the following specialties.
131A Field Artillery Targeting Technician 350F All Source Intelligence Technician 12N30 Engineer Team Leader 13R30 Field Artillery Firefinder 13R40 Field Artillery Firefinder 13T30 Field Artillery Surveyor/Meteorological Crew Member 13Z50 Field Artillery Senior Sergeant 27D20 Paralegal Specialist 29E30 Electronic Warfare Specialist 29E40 Electronic Warfare Specialist
The original nine Active BCTs reported to Congress in February 2012 are: 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Air Assault Division 2d Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division 3d Cavalry Regiment 3d Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division 2d Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division 3d Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division 2d Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division 3d Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division 3d Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Infantry Division
The original nine BCTs will expand the number of women in the units to incude skill level one and two positions in currently open occupational specialties already assigned to the nine BCTs. This expansion will open 2,109 additional positions to women in the following occupational specialities.
25U10 Signal Support Systems Specialist 25U20 Signal Support Systems Specialist 35F10 Intelligence Analyst 35F20 Intelligence Analyst 42A10 Human Resources Specialist 42A20 Human Resources Specialist 68W10 Health Care Specialist 68W20 Health Care Specialist 74D10 Chemical Operations Specialist 74D20 Chemical Operations Specialist 92Y10 Unit Supply Specialist 92Y20 Unit Supply Specialist
The 160th SOAR will assign no more than eight officer/warrant officers and eight enlisted women (16) total in any of the following military occupational specialties within the unit: 15A Aviation General (skill identifier K1, K4, K5, K6) 15B Aviation Combined Arms Operations (skill identifier K1, K4, K5, K6) 152C AH/MH-6 Pilot (skill identifier K1, K4, K5, K6) 153A MH-60 Pilot (skill identifier K1, K4, K5, K6) 154E MH-47 Pilot (skill identifier K1, K4, K5, K6) 15S10 AH-6 Helicopter Repairer (K1) 15S20 AH-6 Helicopter Repairer (Technical Inspector/Team Chief) Crew Chief (K1) 15S30 AH-6 AHelicopter Technical Inspector/Safety NCO/Crew or Sect Chief (K1) 15S40 Aircraft (Quality Control Supervisor/Maintenance Supervisor) Platoon Sergeant (K1) 15T10 MH-60 Helicopter Repairer (K1) 15T20 MH-60 Helicopter Repairer (Technical Inspector/Team Chief)/Crew Chief (K1) 15T30 MH-60 Helicopter Repairer Technical Inspector/Aviation Standardization NCO/Crew Section Chief (K1) 15T40 Aviation Standardization NCO/Platoon Sergeant (K1) 15U10 MH-47 Helicopter Repairer/Flight Engineer (K1) 15U20 MH-47 helicopter Technical Inspector/Flight Engineer (K1) 15U30 MH-47 Technical Inspector/Flight Engineering Standarization NCO/Aviation Life Support NCO/Flight Engineer/Section Chief (K1) 15U40 Aircraft (Quality Control Supervisor/Maintenance Supervisor)/Flight Engineer Standardization/Platoon NCO (K1)
The Marine Corps intends to open the 0203 Ground Intelligence Officer occupational specialty to female Marine Corps officers. This will effectively open 56 additional billets to women.
The Marine Corps intends to open 12 positions in occupational specialties currently open to women for Marine officers and Staff NCOs in each of the three Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Companies (ANGLICO) to broaden their opportunities and increase their ability to assess the performance of women in these newly opened positions. In total, 36 positions will be opened.
0180 Adjutant (o-3) 0111 Personnel Chief (E-6) 0602 Communication Officer (0-3) 0681 Electronic Key Management System (E-6) 2862 Radio Tech Shop Chief (E-7) 0402 Logistics Officer (O-3) 0491 Logistics Officer (E-7) 3043 Supply Officer (O-3) 3043 Supply Officer (E-6) 0402 Motor Transport Officer (O-2) 3529 Motor Transport Maintenance Chief (E-6)