Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced today the selection of the fiscal 2003 appointees to the Defense Department Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS). The incoming members are retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Carol A. Mutter of Brownsburg, Ind., as the chair; Catherine Aspy of Keizer, Ore.; Lynda Davis of Great Falls, Va.; J.P. Duniphan of Rapid City, S.D.; Bonnie Fuller Ford of Albuquerque, N.M.; Julie Hamre of Bethesda, Md.; Constance Horner of Washington, D.C.; Susan Patane of Loma Linda, Calif.; retired Army Reserve Col. Darryl Ladd Pattillo of Austin, Texas; Margaret Robson of Washington, D.C.; Virginia Rowell of Vienna, Va.; retired Air Force Reserve Col. Vance Shaw of McLean, Va.; and Rosalie Silberman of Washington, D.C.
The fiscal 2003 DACOWITS is comprised of 13 civilian members from throughout the United States, selected on the basis of their experience in the military, as a member of a military family or experience working with women's or family-related workforce issues.
The committee provides an invaluable service to the department as an independent body of "citizen" advisors. The focus of their support will be targeted to the needs of the Department of Defense and senior service leaders. DACOWITS is a valuable asset to evaluate and validate present and future personnel and readiness policies within the Department that may impact both men and women. Additionally, through installation visits and focus groups, issues may be raised that should also be brought to the attention of the installation commander and/or service leadership.
The committee does not make policy or act as the voice for the department, but it will provide an important conduit to directly express the concerns of servicemembers to the senior leadership. The committee has an important role in supporting today's military; within that role, it will provide valuable advice and recommendations.
More information about DACOWITS can be found at http://www.dtic.mil/dacowits/.