Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL)



First Advisor

Norma Noonan

Second Advisor

Alan Tuchtenhagen

Third Advisor

Tom Morgan


The military has changed dramatically over the years involving more active roles for women in leadership positions, regardless of combat experience. According to the Department of Defense,7.4 million people serve in today's military and 15 percent of them are women (DOD, 2013). There are 1.2 million enlisted personnel, 250,000 of that number are officers (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013). Yet, relatively little research has been conducted on enlisted personnel in leadership roles, and virtually none regarding female enlisted leadership. Recent studies have shown that females face barriers in the military due to their gender and perceived stereotypes. Current literature often focuses on gender stereotypes, leadership competencies, and high ranking officers. Current research focuses on women in the officer ranks without regard to enlisted women in leadership positions, ranks E-5- E-9. Many studies are conducted at military academies, which train the future officers of the military. Enlisted personnel reach high ranks in today's military, however, relatively little data has been collected on enlisted females in regards to their leadership experiences.


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