DoD: Women in active duty force increased in 2020

National News

FILE – In this Sept. 18, 2012 file photo, female soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division train on a firing range while testing new body armor in Fort Campbell, Ky. A federal appeals court in New Orleans upheld the constitutionality of the all-male military draft system Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020, citing a 1981 U.S. Supreme Court decision.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans said “only the Supreme Court may revise its precedent.” (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWTI) — The percentage of women in the United States active-duty force has increased.

Although women still make up the minority of service members across all active-duty members, the number of women serving both enlisted and as officers have grown slightly according to the newly released 2020 Demographics Profile of the Military Community.

Released by the Department of Defense, this report details the latest data on the makeup of the military community in the United States and around the world.

Compared to 2019 when women made up 16.9% of the active-duty force, in 2020 women made up 17.2% of the force. The higher percent of these service members were among officers as women represent 18.9% of all officers compared to 16.9% of enlisted soldiers.

The percentage of women specifically serving in the Army, Navy and Air Force also increased in each branch and remained the same in the Marine Corps. However, this varied across each separate branch.

Women’s representation is the highest in the Air Force as they now make up 21.1% of all active-duty members. This is a .31% increase from 2019.

The branch that saw the greatest increase in active-duty women serving was the navy. In 2019, women made up 20% of the force. Now in 2020, they make up 20.4% of the force.

Women in the Army also increased as they now make up 17.2% of the force. In 2019, women represented 16.9% of the Army.

The Marine Corps has the smallest overall percentage of women. This rate remains unchanged compared to last year as only 8.9% of the force are women.

Although these increases are small, all active-duty forces have seen a steady increase in women serving. Since 2000, female active-duty members have increased 14.7%, compared to the number of male active-duty members which have only increased 5.6% in the same time frame.

Additional highlights in the 2020 report include statistics on race and ethnicity, geographic location, education and break-downs of enlisted and officers, as well as each service branch.

This data was released by the Department of Defense ahead of Veterans Day on November 10. The full 2020 Demographics Profile of the Military Community can be read on the Military OneSource website.

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