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Policy Recommendations Key Focus of ‘Women in Combat Symposium’

Read about Private Verstein, the first female 91M Bradley Fighting Vehicle System maintainer
Pvt. Cicely Verstein practices marksmanship on a Fort Jackson rifle range. Verstein is the first female 91M Bradley Fighting Vehicle System maintainer, one of six military occupational specialties previously restricted to men. (U.S. Army photo by Wallace McBride, Fort Jackson Leader)

The Defense Health Agency and Uniformed Services University will co-host a “Women in Combat Symposium” April 29 – May 1. The event takes place at Defense Health Headquarters (DHHQ) in Falls Church, Va.

As a symposium partner, members from the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) will participate on several panels. DCoE experts will present and moderate discussions on psychological and social aspects of health and well-being.

The event is part of an effort by DCoE and partner organizations to help strengthen the psychological health of women in combat. Other components include outreach, resilience building and treatment programs.

The symposium is open to federal employees, federal contractors and active-duty military who are supporting this work. Although registration to attend in person ended April 14, participants may attend the event online in a virtual environment. All participants must first register with and then register for the conference. Participants are directed to select the “registration” tab on the “Women in Combat Symposium” home page on

Participants in the symposium will engage in a policy development exercise to identify key issues for women in combat roles, and policy and research gaps. Organizers hope to end the symposium with actionable policy recommendations.

As part of the process, participants will:

  • Review literature about women in combat in relation to human, fitness and health, operational, environmental and community/cultural factors
  • Define an optimal baseline performance for a woman to engage in combat operations
  • Prioritize research and policy gaps
  • Develop a peer-reviewed published supplement of conference proceedings

For questions or problems with registration, please contact

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This page was last updated on: September 14, 2017.