This research brief describes work documented in New Opportunities for Military Women: Effects Upon Readiness, Cohesion, and Morale (MR-896-OSD).

Excerpt: The number of women in the armed forces surged with the establishment of the all-volunteer force. With this increase came pressure to open more units and career fields to women. Between 1992 and 1994, legislative and policy changes were made to increase opportunities for women. Two researchers from RAND's National Defense Research Institute, Margaret C. Harrell and Laura L. Miller, have examined the progress of the services in expanding opportunities for women and the effect of that expansion on the readiness, cohesion, and morale of selected units.[1] The results of their research appear in New Opportunities for Military Women: Effects on Readiness, Cohesion, and Morale. They conclude that, overall, women can serve in a much wider range of units and career fields than they could in 1993 but that sharp differences exist among services. Furthermore, integration of women has had a small effect on readiness, cohesion, and morale — leadership, training, and the unit workload are perceived as having a far more profound influence.

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