The Pentagon is seeing a small rise in the percentage of women entering the officer corps, according to a report released Friday.

The percentage of women among incoming officers was 22.7 percent in 2014, up from 21.7 percent in 2010, the Government Accountability Office found.

Female retention is a concern among top Pentagon officials who say women typically leave the service at higher rates than men.

Military leaders are pushing policies designed to appeal to midcareer women and improve retention. For example, the Navy and Marine Corps recently expanded maternity leave to 18 weeks, and the Air Force recently adopted a rule assuring new mothers they will not have to deploy for one year after having a child.

All four service branches have recruitment efforts that target women, the GAO noted.

Congress ordered the GAO to examine the rate of women entering the military and the individual services' recruitment and outreach efforts for women.

In the military population at large, the percentage of women in the officer corps is rising more slowly. Women make up about 17 percent of military officers of all ranks, up from 15.3 percent in 2005, according to Defense Department data.

The four military services vary significantly in their demographics and the shifts seen during the past several years.

The Marine Corps reported the largest increase in women entering the officer corps; in 2014, that figure was 11.8 percent, up from 7.6 percent in 2010.

For the Army, the percentage of women entering the officer corps rose to 21.4 percent, up slightly from 20.6 percent four years earlier.

For the Navy, the percentage of women ticked up marginally to 22.7 percent, from 22.5 percent in 2010.

The Air Force's figure rose to 27.4 percent in 2014, up from 27 percent in 2010.

Andrew Tilghman is the executive editor for Military Times. He is a former Military Times Pentagon reporter and served as a Middle East correspondent for the Stars and Stripes. Before covering the military, he worked as a reporter for the Houston Chronicle in Texas, the Albany Times Union in New York and The Associated Press in Milwaukee.

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