SELECTED RESERVE ENLISTED ACCESSIONS AND ENLISTED FORCE
Women and occupational assignments. The assignment patterns for Selected Reserve enlisted men and women in occupational areas are reflected in Table 5.19. Most Selected Reserve enlisted women are assigned to two occupational areas: functional support (41 percent) and non-occupational (14 percent). Enlisted men are assigned primarily to infantry (19 percent) and electrical/mechanical equipment repair (18 percent).
The April 1993 policy [Footnote 4] to open more specialties and assignments to women resulted in new opportunities for women in both the Active and Reserve Components. Women are not permitted to serve in direct ground combat roles, but positions on ships and aircraft engaging in combat are now open to women. In FY 2004, 2 percent of women served in infantry, gun crew, and seamanship specialties, as illustrated in Table 5.19, as was the case in FY 2003.
The proportion of Selected Reserve women in non-traditional occupations, such as technical and craftsmen, was relatively low in FY 2004. Women were almost three times more likely than men to serve in the traditional occupational areas of medical and administration. In the future, the proportion of women enlisting in non-traditional positions in the National Guard and Reserves will depend to a considerable extent on the number of Active Component women in non-traditional skills, their willingness to join a Selected Reserve unit upon separating from active duty, and the proportion of technical skill vacancies in Guard and Reserve units. However, with the end of the military drawdown, there are fewer prior service women available to enter the Selected Reserve. Consequently, it is important to continue monitoring occupational trends by gender in both the Active and Reserve Components.[Footnote 4] Memorandum from Les Aspin, Secretary of Defense, Subject: Policy on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces, April 28, 1993.[back to paragraph]