The number of female military personnel has increased as more occupations have been opened up to women. The Marine Corps has the smallest percentage of women, while the Air Force has the largest. Women are equally represented as officers and enlisted personnel.

Number of women, and women as percentage of all personnel


Army 10,367 13% 60,787 15% 71,154 15%

Navy 7,777 14% 42,261 13% 50,038 14%

Marines 854 5% 8,928 6% 9,782 6%

Air Force 11,971 17% 53,542 18% 65,513 18%

Total 30,969 14% 165,518 14% 196,487 14%

SOURCE: Defense Department

Note: As of September 1998. Cadets and midshipmen excluded.

Selected military occupations opened to women in early 1990s


Aviation boatswain mate

Aviation antisubmarine warfare officer

Electronics warfare technician

Fire controlman

Gunner's mate, guns

Gunner's mate, missiles

Gas turbine systems technician

Sonar technician, surface

Marine Corps

Embarkation officer

Landing support specialist

Air delivery specialist

Engineer officer

Combat engineer

Explosive ordnance disposal officer

Aircraft mechanic

Helicopter mechanic

Helicopter crew chief

Presidential support specialist

Air support control officer

Air support operations operator

Security force trainer

Air Force

Fighter pilot and navigator

Bomber pilot and navigator

Surveillance reconaissance pilot and navigator

Sensor operator


Engineer bridge crewmember

Combat engineer senior sergeant

Field artillery surveyor

OH-58A/C scout pilot

OH-58-D pilot