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Panel to Examine Gender-Integrated Training

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 1, 1997 – Former Kansas Sen. Nancy Kassebaum-Baker will chair a DoD advisory committee looking into military gender-integrated training and related issues.

Defense Secretary William S. Cohen said DoD "is not going to turn back the clock" but problems at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., and elsewhere have raised questions about gender-integrated training. "We have to make sure that training is as effective as possible and that all soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are treated with fairness and dignity," Cohen said June 27 during a Pentagon press briefing.

Kassebaum-Baker anticipates the committee completing a report on the issue in six months and said the panel will call on people from many different walks of life as it researches gender-integrated training. "We share a goal of a strong, equitable armed forces and that the training will be such that men and women can reach their fullest potential," she said.

Cohen and Kassebaum-Baker said the committee will examine all levels of military training, including criticisms that DoD has lowered standards -- particularly in physical conditioning -- so women can be successful. The panel will also look at discipline, morale, training standards and training effectiveness.

The other committee members are retired Army Lt. Gen. G. Robert Forman, former chief of staff, Allied Forces Southern Europe; retired Vice Adm. Richard Allen, former commander Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Marcelite Harris, USAF, former director of maintenance; retired Marine Maj. Gen. Don Gardner, former commander of III Marine Expeditionary Force, Japan; Condoleezza Rice, provost, Stanford University; Deval L. Patrick, partner, law firm of Day, Berry and Howard, Boston, and former assistant attorney general for civil rights; Carolyn Ellis Staton, associate provost of the University of Mississippi, and former chair of Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services; John Dancy, former broadcast journalist with NBC News; and Marilyn Virginia Yarbrough, law professor, University of North Carolina.

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