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TRADOC seeks infantry input on women in combat

Nov. 3, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
Army 1st Lt. Audrey Griffith, points out an area of interest in March during a force protection drill to Spc. Heidi Gerke along the perimeter of Forward Operating Base Hadrian in Deh Rawud, Afghanistan. Both women are members of the 92nd Engineer Battalion from Fort Stewart, Ga. Training and Doctrine Command is asking infantrymen to share their views of integrating women into currently closed combat arms military occupational specialties.
Army 1st Lt. Audrey Griffith, points out an area of interest in March during a force protection drill to Spc. Heidi Gerke along the perimeter of Forward Operating Base Hadrian in Deh Rawud, Afghanistan. Both women are members of the 92nd Engineer Battalion from Fort Stewart, Ga. Training and Doctrine Command is asking infantrymen to share their views of integrating women into currently closed combat arms military occupational specialties. (Army)
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Training and Doctrine Command is asking infantrymen to share their views as part of the Army’s assessment of integrating women into currently closed combat arms military occupational specialties, such as 11 series.

The survey is meant “to identify any potential challenges associated with opening the 11 series MOS to female Soldiers,” according to the survey website.

The Training Command Analysis Center is conducting the survey as part of its cultural gender integration study, one of two assessing the impact of integrating women into combat arms.

The Army sent infantry soldiers a link to the survey in early October. It includes about 120 questions asking for soldiers’ opinions on whether women will be able to handle the physical demands of the job, what the impact on morale will be if women join the infantry and their opinions on whether women will expect special treatment for “female problems.”

Army Times was able to access the survey and fill one out after the link was posted on a military community Facebook page.

The survey asks infantrymen how they feel about following orders given by a woman, if they think leadership will hold men and women to the same standard, whether they will be comfortable working and living alongside women during deployments, the possibilities of fraternization and if they are concerned “public pressure will force the Army to change standards so women can be successful” in the infantry.

The Army is also doing a study to identify physical standards required for every MOS. The results will be used to create a gender-neutral, MOS-specific entry training test that will assess whether recruits meet the physical demands of an Army job.

The Army plans to open the infantry MOSs, 11B infantryman and 11C indirect fire infantryman by July 2015.

The first combat-arms MOSs to open to women will be 12B or combat engineer, scheduled for July 2014. Combat jobs in field artillery will open in March 2015, followed by armor and infantry in July of that year.

All previously closed MOSs in the conventional Army should be open to women no later than Jan. 1, 2016, according to the Army’s integration plan.

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