The Army has officially opened more than 19,700 field artillery jobs to women.

Under policies now in effect, jobs in the 13B (cannon crewmember) and 13D (field artillery automated tactical data system specialist) military occupational specialties are now available for fill by qualified female soldiers.

Also open is the U6 Additional Skill Identifier, which is field artillery weapons maintenance.

The Army directive, dated Wednesday, applies to the active Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve.

It comes on the heels of the Army opening its 12B (combat engineer) MOS to women.

The only 13-series MOS still closed to women is 13F. A decision about the 13F, or fire support specialist, MOS will be made along with the decision about whether to open the infantry and armor specialties to women.

This is because 13F soldiers often are embedded with infantry and armor units, officials have said.

These changes are the latest in an ongoing campaign to eliminate the Direct Ground Combat Assignment Rule by dismantling, in phases, policies that have barred women from serving in combat units below the brigade level.

The campaign began in 2012 when the Army opened about 14,000 positions previously closed to women. The service opened six MOSs to women, including multiple launch rocket system crewmember and M1 Abrams tank system maintainer, and began placing women in 37 battalions across nine brigade combat teams.

Since 2012, the Army has conducted extensive tests as it tried to determine which MOSs should be opened to women and how it should be done. The goal is to open most positions to women by the end of this year.

In addition to the 13F MOS, the other jobs still closed to women are infantry, armor and special operations.

Senior Army leaders have submitted their recommendations about those jobs to the Defense Department; a decision isn't expected until the end of the year.

Michelle Tan is the editor of Army Times and Air Force Times. She has covered the military for Military Times since 2005, and has embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Haiti, Gabon and the Horn of Africa.

In Other News
Load More