1. Forces Development and Utilization
a. Submarine Personnel Assignment. DACOWITS recommends that the Secretary of the Navy and Chief of Naval Operations commit to the integration of women into the submarine community and develop an implementation plan.
- For the long-term integration, DACOWITS recommends that the Secretary of the Navy direct redesign of VIRGINIA class submarines to accommodate mixed gender crews.
- For the short-term integration, DACOWITS recommends that the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations commence with assigning women officers to SSBNs.
b. Multiple Launch Rocket Systems. DACOWITS recommends in the strongest possible terms that the Army open Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) to the assignment of women.
c. Special Operations Forces Rotary Wing Aviation. DACOWITS recommends that the Joint chief of Staff (JCS) and U.S. Special Operations Command (US SOCOM) accept and deploy mixed gender Special Operations Forces (SOF) rotary wing aviation crews.
2. Quality of Life
a. Child Care. DACOWITS was briefed by the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Military Community and Family Policy) on the plan to meet at a minimum 65% of the total child care requirements (spaces vs. need) by 2003 as an interim step toward the longer term goal of meeting 80% of the total requirement by 2005. DACOWITS fully supports this plan and recommends that each Service continue its strategies, plans and timelines associated with these activities to include funding for:
- Extended hours to accommodate shift and weekend workers
- Adequate pay to recruit and retain qualified personnel
- More on-base group-care homes
- Expansion of the off-base group-home program
- Specific attention should be given to ensure language proficiency, equipment standards and availability
- Any other programs or initiatives to meet these goals
i. Education of Beneficiaries
DACOWITS supports the interface between TRICARE and leadership to increase awareness of healthcare benefits and options. To facilitate this goal, DACOWITS recommends that:
- All commanders ensure that all supervisors are knowledgeable about the authorized health benefits.
- All commanders ensure that all supervisors are knowledgeable about the health Benefits Advisor's role in assisting patients.
- All leaders discuss medical benefits/TRICARE services with beneficiaries.
- All Services provide information on individualized healthcare benefits and options before and after transfer.
- All participants disseminate information by such means as the web, e-mail, newspapers, briefings, etc.
- All Services ensure a consistent, individualized approach to meeting healthcare needs (e.g. how to obtain healthcare outside the local enrollment area, emergency care, specialty care, billing, etc.)
ii. TRICARE Prime Remote
DACOWITS recommends that commands be provided a mechanism that will afford a means to pay for healthcare up-front to non-participating providers in TRICARE Prime Remote areas where there are no participating providers for that care.
3. Women's Health Needs During Deployment. DACOWITS recommends that the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Services collaborate to ascertain what information on prevention and treatment of gynecological infections is available; perform a gap analysis to see what information is lacking; develop additional educational materials as needed; and disseminate that information to Service members, leaders and healthcare personnel. The Services should ensure an adequate supply of hygiene products during deployment.
Chair: Ms. Vickie L. McCall