New DACOWITS Chair Announced

The Department of Defense announced that effective today, retired Gen. Janet C. Wolfenbarger, U.S. Air Force, will serve as the chairperson of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS). She succeeds retired Lt. Gen. Frances C. Wilson, U.S. Marine Corps, of Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Wolfenbarger was commissioned in 1980 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, beginning her career in acquisition as an engineer at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. She became the first woman to achieve the rank of four-star general in the Air Force. Wolfenbarger retired in 2015.

DACOWITS was established in 1951 by then-Secretary of Defense George C. Marshall. The committee is composed of civilian women and men who are appointed by the secretary of defense to provide advice and recommendations on matters and policies relating to the recruitment and retention, treatment, employment, integration, and well-being of highly qualified professional women in the armed forces. Historically, DACOWITS' recommendations have been instrumental in effecting changes to laws and policies pertaining to military women.

DACOWITS members include prominent civilian women and men representing a distribution of demography, academia, industry, public service and other professions. Selection is on the basis of experience in the military or with women's-related workforce issues.

The committee’s 2016 charter authorizes a total of 20 members, who are selected for a four-year term, without compensation. Members perform a variety of duties including visiting military installations each year, conducting a review and evaluation of current research on military women, and developing an annual report with recommendations on these issues for service leadership and the secretary of defense.

More information about DACOWITS can be found at