Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services
 
POLICIES
 
Charter
  1. Committee’s Official Designation: The committee will be known as the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS).
  2. Authority: The Secretary of Defense, in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (5 U.S.C., Appendix) and 41 C.F.R. § 102-3.50(d), established this discretionary advisory committee.
  3. Objectives and Scope of Activities: The DACOWITS provides advice and recommendations on matters relating to women in the Armed Forces of the United States, as set out in paragraph four below.
  4. Description of Duties: The DACOWITS shall provide independent advice and recommendations on matters and policies relating to recruitment, retention, employment, integration, well-being, and treatment of servicewomen in the Armed Forces of the United States. All DACOWITS work, including subcommittee work, will be in response to written terms of reference (ToR) or taskings approved by the Secretary of Defense or the Deputy Secretary of Defense (“the DoD Appointing Authority”), or the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD(P&R)) unless otherwise provided by statute or Presidential directive.
  5. Agency or Official to Whom the Committee Reports: The DACOWITS reports to the Secretary of Defense and the Deputy Secretary of Defense, through the USD(P&R), who may act upon the DACOWITS’ advice and recommendations in accordance with Department of Defense (DoD) policy and procedures.
  6. Support: The DoD, through the Office of the USD(P&R), provides support for the DACOWITS’ functions and ensures compliance with requirements of the FACA, the Government in the Sunshine Act (“the Sunshine Act”) (5 U.S.C. § 552b), governing Federal statutes and regulations, and DoD policy and procedures.
  7. Estimated Annual Operating Costs and Staff Years: The estimated annual operating cost for the DACOWITS, to include travel, meetings, and contract support, is approximately $1,200,000. The estimated annual personnel cost to the DoD is 4.0 full-time equivalents.
  8. Designated Federal Officer: The DACOWITS' Designated Federal Officer (DFO) shall be a full-time or permanent part-time DoD Federal civilian officer or employee, or active duty member of the Armed Forces, designated in accordance with DoD policy and procedures.
    The DACOWITS' DFO is required to attend all DACOWITS and subcommittee meetings for the entirety of each meeting. However, in the absence of the DACOWITS DFO, a properly approved Alternate DFO, duly designated to the DACOWITS in accordance with DoD policy and procedures, shall attend the entire duration of all DACOWITS and subcommittee meetings.
    The DFO, or the Alternate DFO, calls all DACOWITS and subcommittee meetings; prepares and approves all meeting agendas; and adjourns any meeting when the DFO, or the Alternate DFO, determines adjournment to be in the public interest or required by governing regulations or DoD policy and procedures.
  9. Estimated Number and Frequency of Meetings: The DACOWITS shall meet at the call of the DACOWITS’ DFO, in consultation with the DACOWITS’ Chair and the USD(P&R). The estimated number of meetings is four per year.
  10. Duration: The need for this advisory function is on a continuing basis; however, it is subject to renewal every two years.
  11. Termination: The DACOWITS shall terminate upon completion of its mission or two years from the date this charter is filed, whichever is sooner, unless the DoD renews the DACOWITS in accordance with DoD policy and procedures.
  12. Membership and Designation: The DACOWITS shall be composed of no more than 20 members who have prior experience in the military or with women-related workforce issues. Members will include leaders with diverse and inclusive backgrounds, experience, and thought relating to the recruitment and retention, the employment and integration, and the well-being and treatment of women. These members will come from varied backgrounds including academia, industry, private and public sectors, and other professions.
    The appointment of DACOWITS members shall be approved by the DoD Appointing Authority for a term of service of one-to-four years, with annual renewals, in accordance with DoD policy and procedures. No member, unless approved by the DoD Appointing Authority, may serve more than two consecutive terms of service on the DACOWITS, to include its subcommittees, or serve on more than two DoD federal advisory committees at one time. DACOWITS members who are not full-time or permanent part-time Federal civilian officers or employees, or active duty members of the Uniformed Services, shall be appointed as experts or consultants pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 3109 to serve as special government employee (SGE) members. DACOWITS members who are full-time or permanent part-time Federal civilian officers or employees, or active duty members of the Uniformed Services, shall be appointed pursuant to 41 C.F.R. § 102-3.130(a) to serve as RGE members. The DoD Appointing Authority shall appoint the DACOWITS’ leadership from among the membership previously appointed in accordance with DoD policy and procedures, for a term of service of one-to-two years, with annual renewal, not to exceed the member’s approved appointment.
    All members of the DACOWITS are appointed to exercise their own best judgment, without representing any particular point of view, and to discuss and deliberate and in a manner that is free from conflict of interest. With the exception of reimbursement of official DACOWITS-related travel and per diem, DACOWITS members serve without compensation.
  13. Subcommittees: The DoD, when necessary and consistent with the DACOWITS’ mission and DoD policy and procedures, may establish subcommittees, task forces, or working groups (“subcommittees”) to support the DACOWITS. Establishment of subcommittees shall be based upon a written determination, to include terms of reference (ToR), by the DoD Appointing Authority or the USD(P&R), as the DACOWITS’s Sponsor. All subcommittees operate in accordance with the FACA, the Sunshine Act, governing Federal statutes and regulations, and DoD policy and procedures. If a subcommittee duration, as determined by the ToR, exceeds that of the DACOWITS and the DoD does not renew the DACOWITS, then the subcommittee shall terminate when the DACOWITS does.
    Individual appointments to serve on DACOWITS subcommittees, which are separate and distinct from appointments to the DACOWITS itself, shall be approved by the DoD Appointing Authority for a term of service of one-to-four years, with annual renewals, in accordance DoD policy and procedures. No member shall serve more than two consecutive terms of service on the subcommittee, unless approved by the DoD Appointing Authority. Subcommittee members who are not full-time or permanent part-time Federal civilian officers or employees, or active duty members of the Uniformed Services, shall be appointed as experts or consultants pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 3109 to serve as SGE members. Subcommittee members who are full-time or permanent part-time Federal civilian officers or employees, or active duty members of the Uniformed Services, shall be appointed pursuant to 41 C.F.R. § 102-3.130(a) to serve as RGE members. The DoD Appointing Authorities shall appoint the subcommittee leadership from among the membership previously approved to serve on the subcommittee in accordance with DoD policy and procedures, for a one-to-two year term of service, with annual renewal, which will not exceed the member’s approved appointment.
    Each subcommittee member is appointed to exercise their own best judgement on behalf of the DoD, without representing any particular point of view, and to discuss and deliberate in a manner that is free from conflicts of interest. With the exception of reimbursement of travel and per diem related to the DACOWITS or its subcommittees, subcommittee members shall serve without compensation.
    Subcommittees shall not work independently of the DACOWITS and shall report all of their advice and recommendations solely to the DACOWITS for its thorough deliberation and discussion at a properly noticed and open DACOWITS meeting. Subcommittees have no authority to make decisions and recommendations, orally or in writing, on behalf of the DACOWITS. Neither the subcommittee nor any of its members may provide updates or report directly to the DoD or any Federal officer or employee, wither orally or in writing. If a majority of DACOWITS members are appointed to a particular subcommittee, then that subcommittee may be required to operate pursuant to the same notice and openness requirements of FACA which govern the DACOWITS’ operations.
    The USD(P&R) has established three permanent subcommittees. While the number of individuals appointed to each subcommittee may vary, as determined by the DoD Appointing Authority, no individual subcommittee shall have more than 15 members. The three permanent subcommittees are:
    • Employment and Integration—This subcommittee, when tasked in accordance with DoD policy and procedures, will examine the Military Services’ gender integration efforts to determine whether existing policies and programs inhibit the full integration of servicewomen into all military career fields, and identify innovative solutions as necessary. In addition, the subcommittee will review occupational policies and programs that may limit servicewomen’s career progression. Members shall have experience in the military or with women-related workforce issues, specifically pertaining to the employment and integration of women serving in the Armed Forces.
    • Recruitment and Retention—This subcommittee, when tasked in accordance with DoD policy and procedures, will examine current military recruitment and retention programs to determine whether existing policies and procedures inhibit the recruitment and retention of servicewomen. In addition, the subcommittee will identify innovative solutions to increase women’s propensity to serve and further expand opportunities for women to continue serving. Members shall have experience in the military or with women-related workforce issues, specifically pertaining to recruitment and retention.
    • Well-Being and Treatment—This subcommittee, when tasked in accordance with DoD policy and procedures, will examine whether existing DoD and Military Services institutional policies and procedures safeguard the well-being and treatment of servicewomen, and provide recommended policy changes as gaps are identified. Members shall have experience in the military or with women-related workforce issues, specifically pertaining to well-being and treatment.
  14. Recordkeeping: The records of the DACOWITS and its subcommittees shall be managed in accordance with General Records Schedule 6.2, Federal Advisory Committee Records, or other approved agency records disposition schedule, as well as the appropriate DoD policies and procedures. These records will be available for public inspection and copying, subject to the Freedom of Information Act of 1966 (5 U.S.C. § 552, as amended).
  15. Filing Date: April 22, 2022