The recent US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) study does not portray a happy picture for women in the prestigious Special Operations Forces. This study was done in 2021 and came up with a report on 21st August 2023.
The study comes with a shocking revelation that women are facing prominent sexism and sexual harassment in the special forces. They are being forced to wear equipment that does not fit them properly. These situations are preventing the complete integration of women into the elite Special Operations Forces.
The study has also found a prominent “overtly sexist sentiment” among male officers. Especially the “senior non-commissioned officers and company-grade officers” have been misogynistic in their behavior toward their female colleagues. And it is definitely shameful how women officers are handed out the most ill-fitting body armor, and sometimes they are forced to buy their own armor.
It’s great that the study has not been limited to finding the problems or faults only. Instead, it has churned out as many as forty-eight recommendations to eradicate sexism from the Special Operations Forces.
Lt. Gen. Jonathan Braga, the commander of the US Army Special Operations Command, said on Monday, “It’s not a nice to have, it’s a must. If you just take the protection of United States and the most critical threats we have out there, we need everybody when you talk about defense of our nation, not just in the Army but at a macro scale. … It’s critical to our mission.”
Jonathan Braga has also acknowledged how women have been a vital component in the success of the US Army Special Forces. He has mentioned that women’s contribution to the Special Forces goes back to the Revolutionary War.
He said, “We have women serving in every capacity, every single one – Special Forces, civil affairs, psychological operations, our special operations aviation element, our Rangers and our enablers. Every single one has got females, and they’re critical to how we’re being successful across the world today. And I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
The USASOC has deputed a lead for the “Women in ARSOF Initiative.” The lead will work for the upgradation of female-specific concerns in the special forces. Also, the lead will take care of the mentorship, sponsorship, health concerns, and readiness for the forces.
In addition, the 7th Special Forces Group is allocated extra funding for childcare centers. This has been a long-standing concern among soldiers. Especially the location of the childcare facilities often left the soldiers dissatisfied.