Cohen OKs Mixed Training

amaxwell@govexec.com

The Army, Navy and Air Force can continue to mix male and female recruits in basic training, but not in housing, Defense Secretary William Cohen said Monday.

"The goal is a basic training system which provides gender privacy and dignity in safe, secure living conditions," Cohen said at a press conference.

Cohen's directives came in response to a December report by a panel headed by former Sen. Nancy Kassebaum Baker, R-Kansas. The report argued that male and female recruits should be segregated during most of basic training and live in separate barracks.

In January, the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) released a report saying more, not less, gender-integrated military training is needed.

Last week, Army, Navy and Air Force representatives argued in a draft report that keeping men and women apart in basic training would not prepare them for the real world of the military where women serve on warships and fly combat aircraft.

"We want to train as we fight," one senior military official said. "We are not going to gender segregate."

In the report, the services also rejected the idea of building separate housing units in order to keep men and women apart. Currently, most women in basic training live on the top floors of buildings, while the men are housed separately in floors below them.

Cohen, however, said he wants the system improved. "I want to see barriers that cannot be transgressed," he said.

Cohen also recommended that the services increase supervision for trainees in their first weeks in the services and toughen their physical training.

In addition, he asked the services to increase the number of female recruiters and trainers.

Cohen asked the services to report back to him within 30 days on how they will implement the directives.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.