SUMMARY: The US Air Force conducted a study on new gender-neutral standards for combat jobs, with over 175 male and female volunteers. Brigadier General Brian Kelly, director of military force management policy says that many of the women who took part in the study, “were volunteers from a variety of other career fields…and they were able to compete with and stay up with men.” Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James has indicated that she wants to open up the last 6 combat jobs in the Air Force to women. With these Air Force jobs requiring 2 to 3 years of special operations combat training, there was no way for women to experience the existing physical standard requirements. This study is therefore even more important to determine physical capability, and will likely be used to develop gender-neutral occupational standards for combat positions.
SOURCES: Stephen Losey, September 16 2015, ‘USAF General: Women in Combat Standards test can keep up,’ Military Times, http://www.militarytimes.com/story/military/careers/2015/09/16/kelly-women-in-combat-standards-test-confident-they-can-keep-up/32494747/