The Defense Advisory
Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) released its 2018 annual report
on March 11, 2019.
DACOWITS provides the secretary of defense with recommendations on matters
and policies relating to the recruitment, retention, employment, integration,
well-being, and treatment of women in the U.S. armed forces via a
comprehensive annual report. The report is available online and includes
detailed reasoning supporting each recommendation addressed by the committee.
Established in 1951, DACOWITS is one of the oldest Department of Defense
(DOD) Federal Advisory Committees. The committee was created following the
signing of the 1948 Women's Armed Services Integration Act to assist with
recruiting. Over the years, the DACOWITS charter has expanded, enabling the
committee to submit numerous recommendations to the secretary of defense. The
majority of proposals have been either fully or partially implemented.
DACOWITS is instrumental to the DOD and has made significant contributions on
topics including the opening of closed positions to women; improvements to
the health of deployed servicewomen; increased marketing, accession, and
recruitment of women; and increased parental leave authorizations.
During 2018, DACOWITS gathered information from multiple sources, to include
briefings and written responses from DOD, service-level military
representatives, and subject matter experts. The committee collected
qualitative data from focus groups and interactions with service members
representing the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard during
installation visits. Additionally, the committee examined peer-reviewed
Based upon the data collected and analyzed, the Committee submitted nine
recommendations and one continuing concern to the secretary of defense on the
following topics: marketing strategies, gender integration, Marine Corps
recruit training, personal protective equipment and gear, healthy unit
climate, parental leave policies, performance evaluations, and transition
Electronic copies of the Committee’s annual reports and additional
information about DACOWITS can be found at https://dacowits.defense.gov/.