Army Expects Few Women to Choose Combat Arms if Positions are Opened
Relatively few women are expected to apply for combat jobs if the U.S. Army lifts gender restrictions on such assignments, the Army's top training and doctrine officer said Tuesday.
"Overall, we find that generally the propensity is low" among women to choose an infantry, armor or artillery military occupation specialties (MOS), said Gen. David Perkins, head of the Army's Training and Doctrine Command.
"There just aren't a lot that want to do it," Perkins said at a breakfast with defense reporters. "The surprise is that the propensity for a lot these things for males is low."
Based on Army gender integration and propensity studies, and the experiences of other Army leaders have found "the propensity is much lower to want to do these things but there are some that want to do it," Perkins said.
He explained that TRADOC had looked closely at the experience of the Canadian military, a volunteer force which opened up combat roles to women in the 1980s. Female Canadian soldiers currently make up about 0.5 percent of the infantry troops, two percent of the armor corps, and 4 percent of the artillery billets.
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