This chapter explores the effects of gender integration on individual and unit readiness. It begins by adopting a working definition of personnel readiness, which includes five attributes: availability, qualifications, experience, stability, and motivation. Next, the results of the survey questions that addressed individual and overall unit readiness are discussed. Finally, this chapter discusses the effects of gender integration on each of the five attributes of personnel readiness.
The concept of readiness was purposely undefined in the written survey, as we resolved to determine what factors the study participants would highlight as affecting readiness. The diversity of factors mentioned in the written comments illustrates broad variation in the definition of readiness and substantiates the need to break this item down into its components to facilitate further analysis.
Numerous research efforts have examined force readiness. An aggregated examination of this work indicates that there is considerable variation in the definition of "readiness." The term refers to multiple issues, but many attempts to define readiness address the capability of a military force or unit to accomplish specific goals and missions. Previous research, however, does indicate that there is a hierarchy of readiness, whereby the readiness of individual units is one element that determines the readiness of a service, and the readiness of a service contributes to the overall joint force readiness. Unit readiness is the typical level of focus.