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Release No: 656-97
December 04, 1997


Elizabeth Bilby, named last month as the 1998 chair of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS), has announced the membership of the 1998 Executive Committee. The selectees will take office on Jan. 1, 1998, and serve for the normal period of one year. The executive committee is selected from existing DACOWITS members and is composed of the chair and vice chair of the executive committee at large, the installation visits coordinator, and the chairs and vice chairs of the three DACOWITS subcommittees: Equality Management, Quality of Life, and Forces Development and Utilization.

The new executive committee appointments for 1998 are: Karen Williamson of Washington, D.C. as vice chair; Sheila McNeill of St. Marys, Ga., as installation visits coordinator; Ginger Simpson of Apopka, Fla., as chair, Equality Management; Robert Kaufman of New York, N.Y., as vice chair, Equality Management; Sue Straughn of Pensacola, Fla., as chair, Quality of Life; Enita Elphick of Yuba City, Calif., as vice chair, Quality of Life; Lori Hunter of Syracuse, N.Y., as chair, Forces Development and Utilization; and police Capt. Mary Wamsley of Denver, Colo., as vice chair, Forces Development and Utilization.

The executive committee performs a variety of duties, especially during semiannual conferences and quarterly executive committee meetings. Duties include reviewing issues proposed by subcommittees for study, assigning agenda items to subcommittees for introduction to the full committee, approving rationales for DACOWITS recommendations, and reviewing Service responses to those recommendations.

Members of DACOWITS are prominent civilian women and men selected from all geographical areas in the United States. They represent academia, industry, public service and other professions. Members are appointed by the Secretary of Defense for a three-year term and serve without compensation. Secretary of Defense George C. Marshall founded DACOWITS in 1951 to assist the Defense Department in the recruitment and retention of servicewomen. In the ensuing 46 years, the committee has provided useful advice to the Secretary of Defense concerning the effective utilization of women in the military services.

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