A feasibility study of the assignment of women to the DD-963 (Spruance) class destroyer.
Deutermann, Stephen W.
Eitelberg, Mark J.
Goral, J. R.
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This thesis examines the issue of the feasibility of assignment of women to the DD-963 (Spruance) class destroyer. The author has gathered published information in the general topic areas of "women in the military" and "gender integration in the Navy", as well as information on the ship itself in order to form a framework for analysis. Work-related standards of strength and physical ability are examined, as well as attitudinal data collected from various surveys on the subject of integration of women into ships. This includes a questionnaire administered by the author to the crew of a representative of the class. The author concludes that there is a basis for support of the experimental assignment of women to the Spruance class destroyer. Although current laws and policies prohibit the assignment of female crewmembers to this ship class (on other than a temporary basis), the ship's unique characteristics (e.g., enhanced habitability , automation and modular systems), increase the feasibility of full-time service by females and nullify many of the long-standing arguments used to restrict participation by women. Further, there is evidence of a growing acceptance of the concept of "women at sea" among naval personnel, policymakers, and the general public . With the growth in the size of the Navy's fleet to sixhundred ships and the projected decline in the available pool of eligible 17-to 23-year-old males through the mid-1990s, the increased demand for talented youth in both the Armed Services and the private sector leads to an examination of "non- traditional" sources for qualified accessions. Among these are women, reserves, civilians, and male conscripts. This thesis focuses on the more effective and expanded utilization of women, made more possible now because of technological advancement and a shift in public attitudes.
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