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Senate Committee Votes to Require Women to Register for the Draft

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Women would have to register for the military draft if a proposal approved this week by the Senate Armed Services Committee makes it into law.

Under current law, men over 18 must register with the Selective Service.

According to the Selective Service website, the “last draft call was on December 7, 1972, and the authority to induct expired on June 30, 1973.”

Draft lotteries to determine who might be called continued through 1976, when they were abandoned. Registration with the Selective Service System was suspended in 1975, but resumed in 1980 and remains in effect today.

Men between the ages of 18 and 25 are currently required to register as part of eligibility for federal programs including aid for education.

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A summary released by the committee said the provision was included as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for the 2022 fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

The summary noted the panel’s version of the NDAA “[s]trengthens the All-Volunteer Force” and reinforces “the principles of a strong, diverse, inclusive force; that force cohesion requires a command climate that does not tolerate extremism, sexual misconduct or sexual harassment.”

The summary also said the bill “Amends the Military Selective Service Act to require the registration of women for Selective Service.” No further comment about the change was included in the statement.

The panel’s action touched off intense debate on Twitter.

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The Pentagon opened all combat jobs to women in 2016, according to The Hill. A congressional commission issued a report in 2020 that supported drafting women as well as men.

The House will consider the NDAA next. Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier of California, who chairs the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee, supports drafting women, according to Roll Call.

In 2017, Speier sought to have the change included in that year’s NDAA, but failed.

Should women be required to register with the Selective Service?

“I actually think if we want equality in this country, if we want women to be treated precisely like men are treated and that they should not be discriminated against, we should be willing to support a universal conscription,” Speier said at the time.

The FY22 NDAA includes one other provision impacting women. It would create special military justice offices that would take charge of investigating claims of sexual assault.

Throughout the debate on women being drafted, military leaders have said they do not want to abandon the all-volunteer military, in which women are as free to enlist as men.

That has prompted calls to get rid of the draft entirely, which would save $25 million annually, according to Military.com.

“Congress hasn’t come close to reinstating a military draft in 50 years, and I can’t imagine a scenario where it would,” Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon said in April when introducing a bill to abolish the Selective Service.

“It has been nearly 50 years since the draft was last used,” Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky added. “I’ve long stated that if a war is worth fighting, Congress will vote to declare it and people will volunteer. This outdated government program no longer serves a purpose and should be eliminated permanently.”

The Supreme Court has been asked to rule on the issue of an all-male draft, but has deferred hearing a case on the matter pending any action Congress might take.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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