Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services Support Services, 2013–2015

Project Overview

The Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) provides advice and recommendations on matters and policies relating to the recruitment and retention, treatment, employment, integration, and well-being of women in the Armed Forces. Under this contract, Insight provides research support to DACOWITS members and staff, with the goal being the preparation and submission of the DACOWITS annual report. Each year, DACOWITS selects specific topics for study and gathers information from both primary and secondary sources on these topics; these sources include briefings from military representatives and subject matter experts, data and other information collected during site visits from focus groups and interactions with Service members, and literature reviews.

In 2014, DACOWITS conducted 40 focus groups at 8 military installations across the country. Insight was responsible for collecting and analyzing these qualitative and quantitative data to support the recommendations DACOWITS put forth in its annual report. As part of this process, Insight transcribed minutes from each focus group and analyzed the data for Committee members to use to inform their recommendations. Insight also produced the annual report for DACOWITS that outlines its recommendations, reasoning, summaries of briefings it received over the year, focus group findings, and a review of recent relevant literature.

Insight has supported DACOWITS research on the following topics:

  • Sexual harassment and sexual assault prevention and response
  • Reproductive health care
  • Career accessions of enlisted women
  • Effective and full integration of women into closed positions and units
  • Career progression/ mentoring

The resultant report produced is key, as DACOWITS’ recommendations have been instrumental in effecting changes to laws and policies pertaining to military women over the past 60 years.

Core Activities

Literature Reviews and Environmental Scans; Survey Design and Implementation; Survey Research; Data Collection; Qualitative Research; Data Analysis and Simulations; Report Development and Presentation; Developing/Synthesizing Recommendations


Insight delivered a briefing to the DACOWITS Committee in June 2014 to summarize the installation visits and focus group findings. Annual Report for 2014 available at