The Washington Army National Guard is looking to help make policy changes so that women do not have to choose between having children and progressing in their military careers.

For Immediate Release

July 7, 2020

The Navigating Pregnancy and Promotion Challenge invites service personnel from each of the U.S. military branches to share their stories in connection to current policies. These policies dictate that when a woman in the Army becomes pregnant, she is given the option to leave the military through the honorable conditions of a Dependency Discharge or to become non-deployable for the duration of her pregnancy.

“The policies currently in place often make it difficult for women to advance in their military careers before, during, and after they have children,” said Sergeant Sharon Gold. “Through our partnership with NSIN, we are calling upon service personnel from each of the branches of the U.S. military to share their stories connected to these policies, both men and women. This will help us make suggestions on how to improve the system with a goal of higher moral and unit cohesion as well as increased mission success.”

Navigating Pregnancy and Promotion is an online challenge that launched on June 24 and will run through July 22. The Washington Army National Guard has partnered with NSIN to gather input from all military service branches.

Currently when a woman in the Army becomes pregnant, she gets up to 12 weeks of post-pregnancy leave and must submit a dependent care plan before returning to deployable status.

“By appealing to all branches of the military for input, the Army can look at what has happened in the past and create a solid foundation for essential changes for the future,” Gold said. “Using the NSIN Defense Innovation Network for this data collection is vital in developing better policies for pregnant women in the military who want to dedicate their careers to the defense and national security of our country.”

To register and participate in the challenge, visit the NSIN Defense Innovation Network.

About NSIN

The NSIN mission is to “build networks of innovators that generate new solutions to national security problems.” National Security Innovation Network is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, and has regional offices in 11 commercial innovation hubs throughout the United States. Through its headquarters, regional hubs and embedded university partnerships, National Security Innovation Network builds a national network of innovators and delivers programming that solves real-world, Department of Defense problems through collaborative partnerships with nontraditional problem-solvers within the academic and early-stage venture communities.