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Joint Forces Journal

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VOL. 24 - NO. 27
JUL 14 - 21, 2019
PO BOX 13283
OAKLAND, CA 94661-0283

510.595.7777 FAX
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Joint Forces Journal is published privately, and in no way is connected with DoD, the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard. This website and the printed newspaper are intended for the members of the Armed Forces and their families. Contents do not necessarily reflect official views of the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard, and do not imply endorsements thereof. The marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other non-merit factor of the purchases, user or patron for advertisers prohibited. If a violation or rejection of this equal opportunity policy by an advertiser is confirmed, the publisher shall refuse to print advertising from that source until the violation is corrected. Editorial content is prepared and edited privately, and is provided by the Public Affairs Office of U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard installations. Correspondence and material for publication should be addressed to: Editor, Joint Forces Journal, P.O. Box 13283, Oakland, CA, 94661-0283. Deadline for receiving articles and photos is 3 p.m. Monday for publication on Friday of that week. Joint Forces Journal editorial policy is to use bylines and photo credits where applicable and when submitted.

Congressman Seeks Gender Diversity Reports from Coast Guard

May 10, 2019
by Julia Bergman
Following the release of a study looking at the retention of women in the Coast Guard, Democratic U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas of New Hampshire has introduced legislation that would require the Coast Guard to provide regular reports to Congress on its efforts to increase gender diversity.

The Coast Guard hired the RAND Corp. last year to look at barriers to women staying in the service and come up with recommendations to better retain them. The 200-page study from RAND was published at the end of March.

While the Coast Guard's retention rates are relatively high in comparison to the other military services, women are leaving at higher rates than men, particularly between the five- and 10-year marks. The RAND study identified three main areas contributing to women's decision to leave: work environment, career issues and personal life--related matters.

"The RAND report indicates that we can be doing more to ensure that women have the same protections and opportunities for advancement as their male counterparts," Pappas said.

His bill, the Fair and Equal Treatment of Women in the Coast Guard Act, also would direct the Coast Guard, within 180 days of the legislation's passage, to identify which recommendations from the report can be "practicably" implemented and come up with a plan for implementing them.

The RAND study said there's no "silver bullet solution" but recommended that the Coast Guard continue to monitor gender gaps in retention, and the effectiveness of policies and initiatives aimed at closing those gaps.

Other recommendations include expanding opportunities for leadership development with emphasis on creating an "inclusive environment" and on mentorship, including mentoring junior female members. It also recommends that all leaders be educated on female-specific policies, such as having adequate breastfeeding facilities.

Pappas said he's received support from both Republicans and Democrats to his proposal. He is working with the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, of which he is a member, to incorporate the proposal in the annual Coast Guard authorization bill, if not as a stand-alone bill.

The Coast Guard has a policy of not commenting on pending legislation, but Lt. Cmdr. Scott McBride, a Coast Guard spokesman, said in an email that the service "is committed to being resilient and effective -- which is only possible once all members are fully supported, both personally and professionally."

"Moving forward, the Coast Guard will continue to promote dignity and respect throughout the service," McBride said.

* * * * *

Photo caption: Incoming first-year students, or swabs, arrive for “Reporting-In Day,” or R-Day, at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Conn. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Lisa A. Ferdinando)


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