We’ve got your back!
We’re AND — a positive voice for American military women.
Military women have earned our nation’s gratitude and our support.
Women have served in all American conflicts. It’s been 60 years since women became official, permanent members our military services.
Today, women are a vital, irreplaceable part of our all-volunteer forces. They have served — often in harm’s way — with distinction alongside their brothers and, unfortunately, all-too-many including those represented in our Gallery of Heroines have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.
Who We Are
A non-profit, tax-exempt educational organization comprised of veterans from all service branches and concerned civilians, AND collects the facts and figures – factual, thoughtful, objective information – on US military women and provides them to scholars, the media, national decision makers and the public.
A full partnership between women and men strengthens America's military.
Military readiness and mission accomplishment are of critical importance.
Excellence in performance is required from all who serve in the armed forces, regardless of gender.
What We Do
AND covers the backs of military women, encouraging and promoting the vital role of military women in our nation's defense.
AND brings organizations and individuals together to continually monitor the accomplishments of American military women and the level of support they receive from their services. And we spread the word so everyone can better understand their sacrifices and the often unique challenges military women face in their services and in their lives.
We hope you will find this site a valuable resource on the status of and issues effecting military women.
We hope you will learn, join in discussions and make this site your personal resource.
AND is a member-supported organization and we invite you to join with us in supporting American Military women with your time and money.
Again, welcome to The Alliance for National Defense.
News from AND
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The Ninth Edition of Women in the Military — Where They Stand is now available in both print and electronic formats.
The publication, pioneered by The Women's Research and Education Institute (WREI), was prepared in 2014 by the Alliance for National Defense with the assistance of long-time editor, Capt. Lory Manning, USN (Ret.).
It includes information on active duty, reserve and Guard forces and on women veterans as well as updated statistics and a chronology of important policy and legislative milestones including a detailed listing of developments in the area of sexual assault and harassment.
Publication of the Ninth Edition was delayed by unprecedented foot-dragging by the Department of Defense in honoring or indeed acknowledging Freedom of Information Act requests for relevant data.
The September 30, 2012 figures included in this edition were requested in Fall 2012; the request was fulfilled nearly two years later in August 2014.
AND is hard at work to break this logjam; the publication will be updated with new data as soon as such information becomes available.
This Ninth Edition is made possible through most generous financial support from Robert M. Kaufman and the Jane and Seymour Kelley Fund of the New York Community Trust.
This support makes it possible to offer the electronic version of Women in the Military free of charge to all interested parties and printed copies by mail for the cost of postage.
To order a print edition, please visit the page
To download the electronic edition, please visit this page
Women in the Military—Where They Stand
Now Available in Print, Electronic Format
Enough already with spurious allusions to ‘unit cohesion’ in support of sex offenders and to oppose force integration!
Few knowledgeable in the art of war dispute that ‘unit cohesion’ is an essential element in successful accomplishment of military missions. But one doesn’t have to be a conspiracy buff to wonder if this tried and true precept has been hijacked by those whose avowed goal is to keep women out of all-male preserves and to justify unjustifiable acts of sexual assault and harassment.
It wouldn’t be the first time this has happened. Indeed, ‘unit cohesion’ — then pushing the now thoroughly discredited proposition that ‘folks won’t fight if they share a fox hole with persons of color’ — was a common canard supporting racial segregation in the services.
Yet today, a new, but equally corrupted version of ’unit cohesion’ is being dragged out:
Full integration of women into combat forces? Oh, no! That would adversely affect the unit cohesion of elite units presumably leaving our troops easy prey for units where gender apartheid is strictly enforced. (See Page 5 for more debate on this issue.)
It is in the area of sexual assault prevention that ‘unit cohesion’ is being misappropriated in a particularly unsavory manner.
Eliminate the ‘good soldier defense?’ Nope, bad for unit cohesion. Take away commanding officers’ powers to decide on prosecution of alleged rapists or to throw out convictions of convicted sex offenders? Heavens, no! That would destroy unit cohesion! Censure a special victims counsel for asking a senator to provide more effective tools to get her job done. Sure, such talk is bad for unit cohesion.
One can only hope that those who evoke this argument don’t really think that rape and gender segregation are essential elements of unit cohesion. But, sadly, it’s difficult to be certain.
Unit Cohesion: Just Another Way of
Saying ‘No Women Need Apply’?
AND Positive Voice Award winner and former DACOWITS member Robert M. Kaufman has been elected to the Alliance’s board of directors.
He is a partner at Proskauer Rose LLP of New York and an expert in legal issues surrounding non-profit organizations. Previously he was legislative assistant to Senator Jacob Javits; attorney, an attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, and an economist at the New York State Division of Housing.
He has served on the Board of Visitors at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and for many years on the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS).
Mr. Kaufman is Vice Chair of New York Community Trust and Director, September 11th Fund.
Copyright © 2015 Alliance for National Defense. All rights reserved
Robert M. Kaufman Joins AND’s Board
AND Website Upgrade
Keep an eye on this space: We’ve begun a major site upgrade to make this space your source for news and opinion on issues effecting military women.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) has re-introduced legislation, the Access to Contraception for Women Servicemembers and Dependents Act of 2015, that would overhaul current Department of Defense policy on contraceptive coverage and family planning counseling. Shaheen's bill would bring health care provided by the military in line with current law for civilian populations by ensuring that all women who receive health care through the United States military have access to all FDA-approved contraception with no health insurance co-pay.
"It's wrong that women in the military don't have the same protections civilian women do to get the comprehensive care they need and deserve," Shaheen said. "No woman should be worried about how they will afford their contraception or find family planning services, and it's time we come together to fix that for our women in uniform and military families."
"Comprehensive family planning counseling and education for service members is woefully lacking, and this shortfall undercuts their ability to make informed decisions about their health care needs," said Alliance for National Defense President Sherry M. de Vries, Lt. Col., USMCR (Ret.). "This bill gives our troops the tools they need to make those decisions and will certainly help increase the health of our servicewomen and overall readiness of our armed forces."
AND Supports Sen Shaheen’s Reintroduced Bill Establishing Health Care Equity
For Military Women, Dependents
SAVE THE DATE
WOMEN IN COMBAT: Where They Stand
27 April 2015, 12:00-5:00 pm
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
On 27 April 2015 Women in International Security, Alliance for National Defense, the Reserve Officer’s Association and No Exceptions will host a half day event to examine what has changed for US servicewomen since the 2013 rescission of the Department of Defense ground combat exclusion policy.
The Ground Truth:
Firsthand Accounts of Women in Combat
To kick off the event author Gayle Lemmon will discuss her new book “Ashley’s War.” Ashley’s War chronicles one of the first teams of Army women imbedded in the 75th Ranger Regiment. First Lieutenant Ashley White was killed in action with two Rangers during a night raid in Afghanistan in 2011. Cultural Support Team members will participate in the discussion. 20th Century Fox recently purchased the film rights to the book.
Comparing and Assessing Approaches
The Services and SOCOM have been invited to provide an update on their integration efforts. A series of panels will analyze, compare and contrast, and assess critical aspects of successful integration.
A View from the US Congress:
Oversight by Elected Leaders
Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) and Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) have been closely following and tracking integration efforts. They will discuss Congressional interest and oversight responsibilities.
A light lunch will be served at 12:00pm and a networking reception will follow at 5:00pm.
Please RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/women-in-combat-where-they-stand-tickets-16111427714. For more information visit www.wiisglobal.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Like any battle plan, this one is continually evolving. Watch this space for updates!
Spring 2015 Advocate Now Online
Most everyone knows the drill by now: In January 2013, then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced the end of the direct ground combat exclusion rule for female service members. SECDEF directed the military services to evaluate all occupational performance standards to ensure such standards are up to date and gender-neutral. Gender neutrality was mandatory unless an exception was applied for and granted by the secretary.
As many pointed out at the time, the devil is in the details. In retrospect, perhaps it would have been better if DoD’s edict had been less nuanced, stating, for example, “Women will now serve in combat roles…deal with it.” But not in the ‘real world.’
Today as the deadline for services and commands to open all positions to women or apply for exemptions nears, ‘standards’ for combat units have become the subject of intense — and sometimes uninformed —debate.
It would be difficult to find serious observers who believe archetypical ‘out of shape 90-pound-weakings’ — male or female — should be incorporated into elite units and thrust into combat situations.
That said, in some — dare we say ‘reactionary’ — circles and commands ‘standards’ have devolved into a code word for excluding all women regardless of their fitness or qualifications.
But here’s the problem: There are a plethora of standards out there. Some are relevant. Some are, well, simply fatuous.
Or as physical fitness expert Jim Gourley concludes “...physical standards for combat duty... have nothing to do with combat..”
Bragging that “My boys can do more pull-ups than your boys (use of gender-specific noun deliberate)” makes for great fun at the officer’s club, but is far less relevant when it comes to accomplishing missions and successfully bringing your people home.
The ability to ’fireman carry’ a person whose weight equals yours may or may not be useful to firefighters, but combat veterans say transporting a wounded comrade on your shoulder in a firefight is only good for turning one casualty into two.
And who can seriously assert that setting standards that would disqualify Audie Murphy, one of America’s most decorated combat soldiers, makes for a more effective fighting force.
Someone really needs to set standards for standards.
We’d suggest DoD undertake this project, but that would require a score of committees, a host of study groups and three years to digest data before reaching a conclusion.
Maybe a memo saying “Women will now serve in combat roles…deal with it.” is the right solution after all!
It’s Time to Set Standards for Combat Standards