The influence of women on equipment design is well reflected in current Army efforts to accommodate the female soldier in her ever expanding role. Women have been admitted into all military occupational specialties, formerly considered “non-traditional”, with the exception of combat related areas. The growing presence of women in the Army and their projected utilization have not been sufficiently addressed. Recent Army requirements, however, emphasize that the enlisted female must now be equally considered in every respect in all Army materiel design including combat equipment.
This paper discusses the need for up-to-date information concerning the capabilities and limitations of the female to determine the compatibility of existing materiel and that currently under development or anticipated. A number of design considerations relative to the findings of recent studies and surveys are included. Although emphasis is placed on Army materiel those determining factors of equipment design are applicable to all areas where women are employed or where their participation is foreseen.