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News Release


Release No: 017-98
January 16, 1998


The Department of Defense announced today that the report of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) to Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen concerning its visits to training installations in the United States has been released to the military Services. Cohen forwarded the report to the Services for their use in ensuring the effectiveness of their initial entry training programs.

In the past, when DACOWITS members visited training bases, they did not meet with trainees. This was to preclude interference with the training programs. Last February, Secretary Cohen informed the Services that DACOWITS would now include trainees in their visits to military training installations. During the year, DACOWITS members met in small groups with more than twelve hundred trainees and trainers at twelve training schools located at nine installations from all five of the Armed Forces. Cohen said, "The effectiveness of the DACOWITS in providing information on how the Department's programs and policies affect, in fact or perception, Service members in the fleet and field rests in significant part on their program of structured visits to military installations."

The scope of DACOWITS's training installation visits included all elements of initial entry training, including basic training, advanced individual training, and officer advanced training. All training schools visited in 1997 were gender integrated. The majority of issues raised by trainees, trainers, and supervisors of trainers at the training schools were similar across all of the Armed Forces. Comparisons between the training objectives and performances of the five Armed Forces beyond those based upon the perceptions of trainees and trainers were not undertaken in this report. Service specific issues are included in this report when they reflect perceptions widely shared by trainees and trainers of one Service. DACOWITS has neither independently confirmed nor validated any perceptions or issues raised.

Secretary Cohen approved the recommendation of the advisory committee that visits to training schools continue to be included among its annual installation visits.

Reports can be obtained through DACOWITS at 703-697-2122.

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