FORT KNOX, Ky. -The initial concept for the Female Engagement Team was to increase the number of women serving, but after the first FET engagement during the Steve Harvey Foundation Leadership Camp for boys in Atlanta, June 7-12, Brig. Gen. Donna Martin, U.S. Army Recruiting Command deputy commanding general, believes the FET may also prove helpful in recruiting young males.
Analysts from the Center of Naval Analyses arrived on post Tuesday to begin their study into how the U.S. Army, and Fort Jackson in particular, integrate genders into Basic Combat Training.
Command Sgt. Maj. Roy Ward here from the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence. A few weeks ago, we had the honor and pleasure of hosting Command Sgt. Maj. David Davenport during a site visit to Fort Leonard Wood.
During his visit, he observed our Occupational Physical Assessment Test validation testing and received several updates regarding Initial Entry Training. As a result, he invited me to share a couple of highlights with you.
First, some background. Last fall, after diligent assessments, pilot programs and evaluation of performance criteria, the Secretary of the Army directed the integration of females into the 12B, combat engineer military occupational specialty, or MOS.
The ensuing efforts have been an integral part of the Army’s Soldier 2020 initiative, which focuses on applying standards to ensure the right person is selected for the right job to increase the readiness and capability of our forces.
Female Soldiers have trained at Fort Leonard Wood for decades in gender-integrated basic combat training, Advanced Individual Training, One Station Unit Training and in functional courses within the Engineer, Chemical, and Military Police Regiments.
When the 12B MOS opened to females, we leveraged our existing practices to integrate them into the already gender-integrated 12B/12C (Bridge Crewmember) OSUT. Thus far, our integration of additional females into the training has been extremely successful.
The first 12B female arrived at here on August 7, 2015, and, as of the first week of May, approximately 110 female 12Bs graduated from OSUT. Of note, males and females are generally passing 12B AIT graded tasks at the same rate, and the female graduation rate for the 12B MOS is very similar to the historical female graduation rate for the 12C MOS, which has been gender-integrated for over 20 years.
The female Soldiers who successfully completed 12B training departed for assignments in brigade engineer battalions located at forts Bliss, Bragg, Campbell, Carson, Hood, Lewis and Riley.
It is too early to assess the overall performance of female 12Bs at their first units of assignment; however, initial insights from unit leaders indicate they are doing very well. Some of these Soldiers are also pursuing additional skills. Nine female 12Bs graduated from Airborne School and four graduated from the Combat Engineer Heavy Track Course.
Another MSCoE highlight is that each of our training brigades – Engineer, Chemical, and Military Police – are implementing MOS-specific High Physical Demands Tasks as an AIT/OSUT graduation requirement.
And, like other IET sites across the Army, MSCoE is partnering with the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine to collect data on the performance of Soldiers in training during the OPAT and HPDT to assist in further refining Army entry standards for all MOSs.
We are very proud of the progress our team has made and of their on-going efforts to ensure units receive the best-qualified Soldiers through continued support of the Soldier 2020 initiative. We look forward to seeing the many benefits that will result from matching the right person with the right job solely based on capability.
Learn more by checking out these videos:
Victory Starts Here…Victory Through Skill!
– CSM Ward
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, March 11, 2016) — The Army will begin training women for infantry and armor specialties later this year, according to its Gender Integration Implementation Plan released, March 10.
The plan will be executed in phases, first bringing female officers into combat arms this summer after they graduate from the U.S. Military Academy, ROTC or Officer Candidate School.
Enlisted recruits are expected to begin training in infantry and armor military occupational specialties beginning this fall. By the time they graduate Advanced Individual Training and report to their first combat units, female officers will already be there. It’s part of the Army’s “leader-first” approach to integrate the last 19 military occupational specialties that had been closed to women.
“We’re not going to turn our back on 50 percent of the population,” said Acting Secretary of the Army Patrick J. Murphy. “We are opening up every occupation to women. I think that’s pretty historic.”
The Army is currently in the first phase of its integration plan. It has developed gender-neutral standards and is educating the force about its implementation policies.
“An incremental and phased approach by leaders and Soldiers who understand and enforce gender-neutral standards will ensure successful integration of women across the breadth and depth of our formations,” said Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark A. Milley.
The Army has also been developing a new Occupational Physical Assessment Test. The OPAT will be administered to recruits beginning no later than June, according to Phase II of the plan.
OPAT includes physical performance tests developed by the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine. These tests will measure the ability of a recruit or cadet to perform physically demanding MOS tasks.
The new test will include a standing long jump, a dead lift, an interval run and a seated power throw to measure strength needed for tasks such as loading ammunition.
Phase II is the initiation of gender-neutral training. It begins April 1 as the Army starts enlisting women under the Delayed Entry Program for armor and infantry One-Station Unit Training or OSUT. Training won’t actually begin for the enlistees until fall and could be delayed for up to a year until they graduate high school.
Phase III involves assigning women to operational units. Again, female officers will be assigned to infantry and armor units first, to prepare the way for enlisted Soldiers to arrive at end of the year.
Phase IV is “Sustain and Optimize.” In this phase the Army achieves full operational capability and re-validates MOS screening requirements. Through talent management, it continues to select the best Soldiers for the right jobs, according to the plan.
Over the last four years, the Army has opened a substantial number of positions to female Soldiers. The Army opened 95,216 positions and nine occupations to women between May 2012 and October 2015, including combat engineer (12B) and artillery MOSs.
The first female cannon crew member, 13B, graduated this month from Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, at the top of her class.
Now under the Army’s Gender Integration Implementation Plan, the final 19 MOSs will provide an additional 220,000 job opportunities to female Soldiers, though that number may change based on end strength reductions and ongoing force structure changes.
Following are the 19 MOSs within infantry, armor and Special Forces that will incrementally open to women:
— 11A (Infantry Officer)
— 11B (Infantryman)
— 11C (Indirect Fire Infantryman)
— 11Z (Infantry Senior Sergeant)
— 13F (Fire Support Specialist)
— 19D (Cavalry Scout)
— 19A (Armor, General)
— 19B (Armor)
— 19C (Cavalry)
— 19K (Armor Crewmember)
— 19Z (Armor Senior Sergeant)
— 18A (Special Forces Officer)
— 180A (Special Forces Warrant Officer)
— 18B (Special Forces Weapons Sergeant)
— 18C (Special Forces Engineer Sergeant)
— 18D (Special Forces Medical Sergeant)
— 18E (Special Forces Communications Sergeant)
— 18F (Special Forces Assistant Operations and Intelligence Sergeant)
— 18Z (Special Forces Senior Sergeant)
Photo credit: Pfc. Katherine Beatty gives tips to her teammate, who is holding four excess gunpowder bags that weren’t needed for the three-increment charge during live-fire training on the M119A3 howitzer, March 1, 2016. Beatty is the Army’s first woman 13B cannon crewmember to graduate from advanced individual training, which is taught by 1st Battalion, 78th Field Artillery. (U.S. Army photo by Cindy McIntyre, Fort Sill Tribune)