USCG Removes All Personnel Restrictions Based On Sex

The U.S. Coast Guard has removed all restrictions based solely on sex in the training, assignment and career opportunities of its personnel, Commandant John B.

Hayes announced.

As the result of recent policy decisions: — All women graduates of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Jike the men, will be assigned to sea duty for their initial tours as commissioned officers.

— Mixed-sex crews may now be assigned to any Coast Guard unit, afloat or ashore, which can provide r e a s o n a b l e privacy for each sex in berthing and personal hygiene.

— Numerical ceilings based on sex have been removed from recruiting quotas.

— Administrative restrictions based on sex have been removed in relation to training, advancement and specific job assignments.

Women previously have been excluded from the fire control technician, gunners mate, and sonar technician ratings.

— All officer career fields and all enlisted ratings will be open to military personnel of either sex.

Admiral Hayes said that "the result of this group of concurrent decisions is that all action remaining within the power of my office has been taken to assure that henceforth there will be absolutely no arbitrary restrictions based solely upon sex in the way the Coast Guard uses its people.

"Of course there are anatomical differences which cannot be ignored, but these can be accommodated as incidental matters, in areas such as medical support, and not allowed to override the really important factors. We need the very best effort and talent that each person is able to provide to assure that our great service remains the unique and efficient agency the American taxpayer has come to know it to be." Admiral Hayes has terminated the recent practice of limiting seagoing assignment of women, both officer and enlisted, to just two specifically designated cutters.

The Coast Guard first assigned women to two large cutters with modern facilities in 1977. Subsequent experience with these mixed-sex crews has shown that a primary consideration is providing adequate privacy for both men and women. In the future, mixed-sex crews may be assigned to any Coast Guard unit, afloat or ashore, which can provide reasonable privacy for each sex in berthing and personal hygiene.

Personnel assignment officers will have to add to their various assignment considerations the physical arrangements of the particular Coast Guard unit concerned on a case-by-case basis, to determine the number of each sex which can be accommodated.

Admiral Hayes concluded : "Equal opportunity goes hand-inhand with equal privileges and equal expectations; it also implies equal responsibility and accountability.

I shall demand equal commitment and performance from both men and women so that productivity of each will not only be equal, but the aggregate productivity of the Coast Guard increased.

Other stories from October 1978 issue


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