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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 165-01
April 17, 2001

DEFENSE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON WOMEN IN THE SERVICES CELEBRATES ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY

The Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services will hold its semi-annual conference at the Sheraton Premiere Hotel at Tysons Corner in Vienna, Va., April 18 - 22, 2001. During the conference, DACOWITS will celebrate its 50th anniversary with several activities that will be open to the public.

The conference will begin with a visit to Fort Lee, Va., the first installation to host a DACOWITS military installation visit. Fort Lee, home of the Army Combined Arms Support Command, the Army Logistics Management College and the Army Quartermaster Center and School is also the site of the Army Women's Museum that will open this spring. Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel Lt. Gen. Timothy Maude will address the attendees at a luncheon, focusing on the contributions DACOWITS has made on behalf of women in the Services. Subcommittees will hear briefings and discuss many issues including training for new military members on gender equity and equal opportunity, the ground combat rule and an update from the pregnancy task force.

An outdoor celebration will be held in Washington, D.C., at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial on Thursday, April 19th, at 9 a.m. EDT. The event, hosted by the Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Charles L. Cragin, will include a retrospective look at the changes that resulted from recommendations made during the "First 50 Years" of DACOWITS. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Henry H. Shelton will deliver a keynote speech.

DACOWITS was established in 1951 by Secretary of Defense George C. Marshall to advise the Secretary on policies and matters relating to women in the Military Services. In its advisory capacity, the committee recommends measures to ensure the effective utilization of women in the armed forces. The committee meets formally each spring and fall to discuss current issues facing women in the military Services. Over the years, recommendations made by DACOWITS have resulted in many positive changes for women of our armed forces.

The committee is composed of 33 civilian members selected on the basis of their achievements in business, professional fields, civic service, and by geographic location. Members are appointed by the Secretary of Defense for a three-year term. DACOWITS members examine the issues within each of the three sub-committees, Equality Management, Forces Development and Utilization, and Quality of Life.

The conference is open to the public. Additional information about DACOWITS is available at http://www.dtic.mil/dacowits and from Army Lt. Col. Susan Kolb at (703) 697-2122 or at Susan.Kolb@osd.mil.