The Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) (hereafter referred to as the Committee or DACOWITS) was established in 1951 with a mandate to provide the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) with independent advice and recommendations on matters and policies relating to servicewomen in the Armed Forces of the United States. Individual members of the Committee are appointed by the SECDEF and serve in a voluntary capacity for one- to four-year terms.
It has been the Committee’s approach since 2010 to divide its work into two areas of focus: Assignments and Wellness. The Committee selected topics for study under each area of focus, and gathered both primary and secondary sources of information: briefings and written respons- es from DoD, Service-level military representatives, and subject matter experts (SMEs); data collected from focus groups and interactions with Service members during installation visits; and literature reviews. These sources of information, along with information DACOWITS gained through studying some of these topics in previous years, formed the basis—or reasoning—for the Committee’s recommendations.
The Committee voted on recommendations during its September 2015 business meeting and approved this annual report at its December 2015 business meeting.