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    The Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services toured Joint Base Lewis-McChord

    The Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services toured Joint Base Lewis-McChord

    Photo By Pvt. Jolene Cintron | Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) subcommittee members...... read more read more



    Story by Pvt. Jolene Cintron 

    5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment   

    JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash.-- The Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) toured Joint Base Lewis-McChord to engage with Service members across the installation May 2-3, 2024.

    “The Committee is focused on matters and policies that impact servicewomen in the military,” said Col. Samantha Frazier, DACOWITS Military Director, “The study topics they examine and subsequent recommendations they vote upon impact both women and men.”

    DACOWITS was established in 1951 and is composed of women and men appointed by the Secretary of Defense. The Committee provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Defense (SecDef) on matters and policies relating to the recruitment, retention, employment, integration, well-being, and treatment of women in the Armed Forces of the United States.

    “Our readiness hinges upon ensuring every soldier being ready and prepared to deploy, as well as properly equipped,” said Lt. Col. Yolanda William, I Corps EO (Equal Opportunity) Program Manager. “It’s vital that every qualified person is ready to win and fight our nation’s wars.”

    Each year, DACOWITS gathers information from multiple sources, including briefings and written responses from the Defense Department, Service-level military representatives, and subject matter experts. During installation visits, the Committee also collects qualitative data from focus groups and interactions with over 550 Service members representing the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard. Based on the data collected and analyzed from visits to military installations, the Committee provides recommendations to the Secretary of Defense.

    “The Committee utilizes the input they gather from Service members to support their recommendations. By conducting these annual visits, they are able to keep up with the current issues impacting Service members,” said Williams.

    Over the years, the DACOWITS charter has evolved, enabling the Committee to submit over 1,000 recommendations to the SecDef, with the majority having been either fully or partially implemented.

    DACOWITS members toured 17th Fires Brigade Holistic Health and Fitness program at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and met with leadership from 7th Infantry Division.The Committee members asked questions about how Soldiers' needs are being met with the program.

    “DACOWITS is the oldest DoD federal advisory committees, and they have been historically instrumental in effecting changes to not just military policies, but also influencing laws that pertain to military women,” Williams said.

    During installation visits, DACOWITS communicates with Service members during focus groups to gather qualitative data. After analyzing and depicting the data, the Committee authors recommendations and annotates potential concerns, which are consolidated into a comprehensive annual report for the SecDef.

    “You have an advocate…please know that if you have a concern and you want to bring it to the Committee’s attention, feel free to go online and submit your comment,” said Frazier.

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    Date Taken: 05.04.2024
    Date Posted: 05.16.2024 19:14
    Story ID: 471455

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