The occupational representation, by gender and race/ethnicity, for deployed enlisted members is shown in Table 8.4. As this table indicates, infantry, gun crews, and seamanship specialists and electrical and mechanical equipment repairers were substantially overrepresented among deployed enlisted personnel, compared to the total active duty force. The first of these categories included 24 percent of deployed personnel, compared to 17 percent of the total enlisted force. Similarly, the second category represented 27 percent of deployed personnel, compared to 20 percent of the total enlisted force.
In contrast, personnel who were medical and dental specialists or involved in functional support and administration were less likely to deploy. Only 3 percent and 10 percent of deployed enlisted personnel were in these categories, compared to 7 percent and 16 percent of all enlisted personnel, respectively. Other occupational categories were represented to approximately the same extent among deployed personnel as they were in the total enlisted force.
Both the infantry and electrical/mechanical equipment repair categories, overrepresented among deployed enlisted personnel, were predominately occupied by males. For example, 19 percent of the male enlisted force were members of infantry, gun crews, and seamanship specialties, while only 5 percent of female personnel were. [footnote 5] By contrast, the occupational areas underrepresented among deployed personnel, medical/dental and administration, were the most common occupations for women. Nearly half of enlisted women were members of one of these two occupations, compared to only 18 percent of enlisted men. Thus, the difference in gender representation appears to be primarily due to the specific occupational requirements of the missions in Kosovo, Bosnia, and the Persian Gulf.
The occupational representation, by gender and race/ethnicity, for deployed officers is shown in Table 8.5. This distribution shows some of the same patterns that occurred among enlisted personnel. Officers with occupations in tactical operations constituted 58 percent of deployed officers while they represented only 37 percent of all officers. Health care, administration, and supply, procurement and allied operations were all underrepresented among deployed officers. A total of 8 percent of deployed officers were in health care, 4 percent were in administration, and 6 percent were in supply, procurement, and allied occupations. Comparable figures for all officers were 19, 7, and 9 percent, in health care, administration, and supply, respectively.
These occupational differences help explain both gender and racial/ethnic differences in representation among deployed officers. Specialties that were more likely to deploy tended to be occupied by men, while women were more likely to have occupations that did not deploy as frequently. A similar pattern existed for race/ethnicity, with whites more prevalent in the occupational area that was most likely to deploy, tactical operations, while minority group members were somewhat more common in less frequently deploying occupations, such as medical and dental care, administration, and supply.
[footnote 5] Although women do not serve in infantry positions, they do serve in other billets, such as gun crews, air crews, and seamanship positions, which are included in the "infantry" occupational area. [back to paragraph]