According to a report released last week, The Pentagon is seeing a small rise in the percentage of women entering the officer corps. The Government Accountability Office found that the percentage of women among incoming officers was 22.7% in 2014, which is up from 21.7% in 2010.
Although the percentage of women entering is on the rise, female retention is a concern among top Pentagon officials who say women typically leave the service at higher rates than men.
All four service branches have recruitment efforts that target women and Military leaders are pushing policies designed to appeal to mid-career women and improve retention. Congress ordered the GAO to examine the rate of women entering the military and the individual services' recruitment and outreach efforts for women.
Overall, women make up about 17% of military officers of all ranks, up from 15.3% in 2005, according to Defense Department data. In the military population at large, the percentage of women in the officer corps is rising more slowly.
The four military services vary significantly in their demographics and the shifts seen during the past several years. The Marine Corps reported the largest increase in women entering the officer corps; in 2014, that figure was 11.8%, up from 7.6% in 2010. For the Army, the percentage of women entering the officer corps rose to 21.4%, up slightly from 20.6% four years earlier. For the Navy, the percentage of women ticked up marginally to 22.7%, from 22.5% in 2010. The Air Force's figure rose to 27.4% in 2014, up from 27% in 2010.
(Article Courtesy of USA Today)
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