Established in 1951, DACOWITS is one of the oldest Defense Department advisory committees. The Committee was created following the passage of the 1948 Women's Armed Services Integration Act to advise on strategies to improve the recruitment of women into the U.S. military during the Korean War. Over the years, the DACOWITS charter has evolved, enabling the Committee to submit numerous recommendations to the Secretary of Defense – the majority of which have been either fully or partially implemented. The Committee’s recommendations have been instrumental in effecting changes to law and policies pertaining to the service of women in the U.S. military.
Reports and Recommendations
DACOWITS gathers information from multiple sources, including briefings and written responses from the Defense Department, Service-level military representatives, and subject matter experts. The Committee collects qualitative data from focus groups and interactions with Service members during installation visits. Additionally, the Committee examines peer-reviewed literature. Based upon the data collected and analyzed, the Committee submits recommendations and continuing concerns to the Secretary of Defense via a comprehensive annual report.
The Secretary of Defense, in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) of 1972 (5 United States Code (U.S.C.), Appendix, as amended) and 41 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) § 102-3.50(d). The Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD(P&R)) is the Sponsor for DACOWITS.
Defense and Service Liaisons
In accordance with Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) 5105.04, “Department of Defense Federal Advisory Committee Management Program,” dated August 6, 2007, and Deputy Secretary of Defense memorandum, “Advisory Committee Management,” dated November 26, 2018, the Military Services will cooperate with and assist the Committee. In addition, the Military Services will designate a Service Liaison to DACOWITS. Service Liaisons are required to attend DACOWITS business meetings and respond to all the Committee’s requests for information (to include briefings and written responses).