an aircraft squadron; otherwise, women are prohibited
from serving on board combatant vessels.
This law allows women to be permanently
assigned to designated ships such as tenders,
transports, hospital ships, and vessels of a similar
classification. It also allows women to be temporarily
assigned to any naval vessel or aircraft squadron for
up to 180 days provided the ship or squadron is not
expected to be assigned to a combat mission.
The following definitions will assist you in
understanding the types of duty to which women may
1. Combat mission.
A combat mission is a
mission of an individual unit, ship, or aircraft whose
primary objective, individually or collectively as a
naval task organization, is to seek out, reconnoiter,
and engage an enemy.
2. Risk rule. The risk rule is the criteria upon
which noncombat positions are closed to women. It is
based upon the risks of direct combat, exposure to
hostile fire, and capture when the type, degree, and
duration of such risks are equal to or greater than the
combat units with which they are normally associated
within a given theater of operation.
3. Temporary duty. Temporary duty (TEMDU)
orders are orders that involve detachment from one
station and assignment to another station or stations
for TEMDU pending further assignment to a new
permanent duty station or for return to the old
permanent duty station. Members on TEMDU are not
attached to any permanent duty station.
4. Temporary additional duty.
additional duty (TEMADD) orders assign members to
TEMDU in addition to their present duties and direct
them upon completion of this TEMADD to resume
regular or temporary duty.
The policy of the Department of the Navy is to
assign all women members to billets commensurate
with their capabilities to the maximum extent
The policy for assigning women
members is as follows:
1. Women may not be assigned to a unit, a ship,
or an aircraft that has a combat mission except as
provided below. If assigned on a vessel or an aircraft
required to execute a combat mission, every
reasonable effort will be made to disembark women
before execution of such mission.
2. Women may be assigned to the following
types of duty:
Permanent duty in hospital ships, oilers,
ammunition ships, refrigerated stores ships,
transports, training ships, and vessels of a similar
classification not expected to be assigned a combat
Temporary duty (TEMDU or TEMADD) to
any ship or aircraft not expected to conduct a combat
mission during the period of temporary duty. Such
periods of temporary duty may not exceed 180 days.
The Chief of Naval Operations and the Commandant
of the Marine Corps may issue specific guidelines
governing these assignments.
Permanent duty in squadrons where such
assignment would not require them to participate as
crew members in a combat mission or to embark,
other than during TEMADD, in vessels that may be
assigned combat missions. They may be assigned to
aircrew and support positions in squadrons that do not
have combat missions. Women may be assigned
nonaircrew support positions on land-based
squadrons with combat missions. The Chief of Naval
Operations and the Commandant of the Marine Corps
will specify those squadrons in which women may be
3. Women are authorized to participate as crew
members or passengers in aircraft engaged in training
or support, including landing on shipboard flight
decks under conditions permitting temporary duty on
naval vessels, if the aircraft is not expected to execute
a combat mission during the period of the assignment.
4. Notwithstanding any of the provisions above,
the Chief of Naval Operations and the Commandant
of the Marine Corps may preclude women from the
assignment to a noncombatant unit, ship, or aircraft.
They may preclude such assignments when the type,
degree, and duration of risk of direct combat,
exposure to hostile fire, or capture are equal to or
greater than the reasonably anticipated risks for land,
air, or sea combatant units with which they are
normally associated in a theater of operations.
The policy outlined above delineates when
women members may serve on board Navy ships and