About 33,000 of the positions in the Army that are currently closed to women are closed because they were in units that were designated as direct ground combat. That will change this year in units that are not under Army Special Operations.
The Office of the Secretary of Defense recently notified Congress of the Army’s intent to open those 33,000 positions to women. The change is expected to take place in April, said Col. Linda Sheimo, chief of the Command Programs and Policy Division at the Directorate of Military Personnel Management, Army G-1.
Sheimo said that with recent force structure changes, the Army moved away from focusing on units.
” Our plan allowed us to identify all the positions that were closed across the three components, regardless of the unit,” Sheimo said.
Those 33,000 positions do not include anything within the Special Operations community, she said.
“When we complete congressional notification in April 2014, the Army will have opened approximately 55,000 positions to women, across all three components, since May 2012. ” Sheimo said.