wisci started because...
...A high-speed Army captain, fresh from command of an elite unit, heads for career schooling. She is months away from starting school, but working to get ahead on pre-work. To her surprise, her online access has been shut off. Her command has discovered she’s pregnant, and deferred the school (and her career) for a year.
...The first women Armor officers arrive in their units at Ft. Hood, and work with their new platoons to get qualified. After they’ve succeeded, senior leadership realizes some of them are the only women in their squadrons, and reassign them out of the platoons where they proved themselves, to start over.
...63% of military women don’t believe that women have the same chance as men to get promotions or jobs for which they are qualified. This pervasive perception of an unfair playing field affects the talent coming in to the Armed Forces, and reduces readiness.
These are the kinds of issues that a very small group of women veterans have been addressing in the media, at the Pentagon, and on the Hill. Until now, these women veterans have worked on their own.
That’s why we formed WISCI (pronounced “Whiskey,” as in the phonetic alphabet for “W” or “woman”). The Women in the Service Change Initiative is an elite group of barrier-breaking Army and Marine veterans with particular expertise in gender integration in the military. Our academic and work experience augments the lived experience of commanding units and serving in combat, and we have robust networks of veterans, serving officers, and enlisted troops -- especially the women who are taking on new opportunities in combat arms roles.
We believe that
(a) A diverse force is a smarter, stronger, better force. Including smart, capable women in a unit enhances readiness.
(b) Developing women leaders and creating the conditions for their success will benefit the Armed Forces now, and in the future.
To that end, we advocate for smart policies around gender integration that will strengthen our military and better prepare us to win the wars of today and beyond.
We are uniquely positioned to identify institutional barriers to successful gender integration; advocate for and recommend policy changes that will improve the force; and develop and implement communications strategies to effect those changes.
In this time of change, WISCI is needed to support the development of women leaders who will serve our country in the decades to come.