This article explores the hiring and job placement policies of the United States military departments' in light of the concept of the bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ). In essence a BFOQ criterion is a requisite to the actual performance of an employment task; a potential employee may be refused a position if he lacks an ability or characteristic which can be labeled as a BFOQ.

Although the study of military employment practices may induce emotional argumentation, this article avoids any conclusions based upon traditional roles of potential employees and deals with two classes of potential employees. The first class of employees to be studied is that of the female employee. It should be noted that only labor law principles shall be considered here. The author makes no effort to compare, contrast, or reconcile such principles with statutes which may limit the female role within the military.

The second category of potential employees is that of the physically handicapped worker who is excluded from military service. For the purpose of this study, a handicapped individual shall be defined as "any person who (A) has a physical ... impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person's major life activities, (B) has a record of such an impairment, or (C) is regarded as having such an impairment."