An Army study released yesterday concludes that an additional 6,000 enlisted women could be absorbed into a variety of support companies.
The study, which covered a nine-month period, found that company-size support units could be staffed with as many as 35 percent women without significantly affecting efficiently. Army officials said women now make up about 5 per cent of the personnel in such companies.
The report offered no judgement as to whether support units could absorb a larger percentage of women, because 35 per cent was the largest representation studied in the tests of 40 companies in signal, military police, medical, maintenance and transportation specialties.
"Extrapolation of test results . . . shows that we could accept up to 6,000 more enlisted women than provided in current assignment planning," the report said.
There are now about 46,000 enlisted women in the Army.
The study, called MAX-WAC, is one of several being conducted by the Army in attempts to determine the future role of women in its ranks.
The report said about two-thirds of the officers, noncommissioned officers and enlisted personnel involved in the MAX-WAC test reported that their companies performed at an "outstanding-very well" level with the number of women assigned.
However, male officers and enlisted personnel rated the performance of men higher.
Among other things, the report concluded there is a need to give instruction on enlisted women's problems to officers"so that appropriate leadership may be provided."