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Cohen Refuses to Segregate Training

Defense Secretary William Cohen declined a recommendation to segregate men and women during military training and instead called for the Navy, Air Force and Army to institute “corrective measures” intended to decrease the mistreatment of women. Cohen said, “We are not going to tolerate the abuse of women in the military.”

Cohen gave the services 30 days to draw up plans to increase female recruiters and trainers, to improve selection processes for trainers, to end harassment of women, and to “develop more consistent training standards between the genders.”

He also said that he would ask military chiefs to increase physical fitness standards for men and women and that he would reconsider the panel’s suggestion to segregate after changes had been made and the results were examined.

Cohen recognized that there has not been enough importance placed on attracting women to join as trainers and recruiters and that they are needed to serve as “role models” for incoming students.

Women make up 14 percent of the 1.45 million members of the United States military services.

Sources:

Washington Post, Reuters - March 17, 1998

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