Integration Planning Underway

All the service branches have submitted plans to the Defense Department detailing how they intend to incorporate women into military positions previously closed to women; however, US Special Operations Command has been granted a “short extension” before it must submit its plan, said Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook on Tuesday. Cook said the SOCOM extension is meant to give the command time to collaborate with? other services. Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work and Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will lead a group overseeing the short-term implementation. That group, which will periodically update Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford on the progress, will hold its first meeting this week, added Cook. “The services and Special Operations Command will begin to execute the implementation of their approved plans as soon as practicable, but no later than April 1,” said Cook. Carter ordered the services to open jobs previously closed to women in early December 2015. (DOD release.) (See also Seven Guidelines for Opening Combat Jobs to Women and Congress Reacts to Women in Combat Decision.)