Barriers to women’s service in the U.S. military have been greatly reduced over the past two decades. Policies preventing women from serving on ships, submarines, and in attack aircraft were removed in 1994. More recently, in January 2013, the Department of Defense overturned the 1994 Exclusion Policy on women serving in direct ground combat units. Implementing this change presents a significant challenge. The decision to do so has reignited a long-standing debate over women’s rights and equal opportunity within the military. The issue is now receiving an abundance of both negative and positive publicity, suggesting increased scrutiny over decisions made by civilian and military leaders. This thesis provides recommendations to support integrating women into ground combat arms positions. This is accomplished by identifying the impediments and drivers to gaining acceptance of the new policy and by distilling recommendations through a framing analysis of the debate in electronic media. The analysis identifies key stakeholder groups and issue frames, providing a lens through which to gain a better understanding of stakeholder perspectives and their arguments for and against further integration. Recommendations for future research are offered in the concluding sections of the thesis.
Aten, Kathryn Eitelberg, Mark Smith, Michael
Naval Postgraduate School
Master of Science in Management
Graduate School of Business & Public Policy (GSBPP)
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Reissued 18 Aug. 2014 to correct degree on title page.