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Army Needs Female NCOs in Combat Arms

Army News Service, 5 OCT 16 – Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey has
asked female NCOs to consider transferring into combat arms military
occupational specialties.

More than 100 women have volunteered to join the ranks as combat arms
Soldiers, but these Soldiers also need female leaders. Dailey said he
hopes female NCOs will answer the call and rise to the challenge.

“These young women have demonstrated the drive and desire to take on
some of the most challenging assignments the Army offers,” Dailey wrote
in a memo to the force Aug. 1. “As young Soldiers do, they will look for
leadership and mentorship from their superiors. Unfortunately, we have
not had a sufficient number of serving female Soldiers and NCOs
volunteer to transfer into these mentorship and leadership roles.”

In April, the Department of Defense opened the remaining combat-arms
MOSs to women, including all positions in 19-series armor and 11-series
infantry. Dailey said he personally supports the move to remove all gender-
based restrictions, and is glad to see anyone who is qualified, male or
female, serve the Army in any capacity.

As it has done in the past when integrating women into an MOS, the Army
is taking a “leaders first” approach. Placing female leaders in those MOSs
before integrating new Soldiers has been made a priority, but finding
those leaders has been a challenge. Dailey is asking more female NCOs
to make the change to combat arms because there are still not enough
female mentors for the new recruits.

“We need leaders to help shape the next generation of combat Soldiers,”
Dailey said. “I know we already have female Soldiers with the drive and
ability to be successful in ground combat arms formations. If you think you
have what it takes, I am personally asking you to consider transferring to
combat arms.”

Dailey noted that it will not be easy. Soldiers are required to pass MOS-
specific High Physical Demands Tests, for which men and women are
graded on the same scale.

“The standards have and always will be very rigorous,” he said. “You will
be challenged both mentally and physically. If you are interested in taking
on this challenge and leading our Soldiers into the future, please talk to
your career counselor today.”