Fact-Finding Mission Coordinator
Planned, led and documented 31 fact-finding missions, including 22 domestic military bases and six foreign countries, for a 15-member panel appointed by President Bush to study the combat roles of women in the military. Created a substantial body of evidence through reports from fact-finding missions.
bill repealed the legal prohibition against women flying combat aircraft.
However, each of the military services had policies and regulations which
complied with the old law, and they were not required to change them.
Therefore, a de facto prohibition remained. This highly politicized, 15-member
of the Commissioners did not support expanded roles for women in infantry-style,
ground combat. However, the opinions of the Commissioners were almost
eqully divided when the issues were other types of combat assignments,
The Commission recommended that Congress RE-INSTATE the legal ban on women flying combat aircraft. This recommendation WAS NOT adopted and today women fly all types of aircraft in all four services.
recommended that Congress REPEAL the legal ban on the assignment of women
to combatant ships, except for amphibious assault ships and submarines.
This recommendation WAS adopted, greatly expanding the role of women in
the Navy. General Maxwell Thurman (U.S. Army, deceased) cast the swing
vote when an amendment
The deciding factors in the Commission's view were the likelihood of a woman becoming a prisoner of war (POW) and the ability of the services to provide a modicum of privacy and separation between the sexes.
Although the Commission repeatedly voted against furthering the role of women in the military, the ultimate effects were greatly expanded roles for women in the combat arms.
© Harry Hirschman 2001. All rights reserved.