Commission recommends inclusion of women in selective service

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Commission recommends inclusion of women in selective service

From the New York Times:

Women have been serving the United States military for generations, sewing uniforms during the Revolutionary War and nursing the wounded during World War II. They have flown fighter jets, commanded warships and more recently fought in combat on the front lines.

But they have never been required to register for a military draft.

That could soon change. Under a new recommendation to Congress by a national commission, all Americans ages 18 to 25 — not just young men as currently required — would have to register with the government in case of a military draft.

The recommendation, part of a report that will be released to Congress on Wednesday, represents the final stage in a divisive debate that has been simmering for decades: Should the United States have a military draft, and should it include women?

“The biggest piece of opposition was, we are not going to draft our mother and daughters, our sisters and aunts to fight in hand-to-hand combat,” said Dr. Joseph Heck, chairman of the commission, which held dozens of public meetings and considered more than 4,000 public comments over the past two years.

But as women have increasingly taken on a larger presence in military life and culture — making up about 17 percent of active-duty troops — commissioners concluded that expanding the registration process to include all Americans in the event of a draft was a “necessary and fair step.”

This recommendation conforms to the position of The American Legion as well, as laid out in Resolution No. 218: Support for the Selective Service Registration Program from 2016:

WHEREAS, Registration is one of the few remaining obligations our nation requires of its young men and removing this “rite of passage” for all men would reduce each man’s level of consciousness about military service and the obligation to defend our nation; and
WHEREAS, If a national emergency arose, females would be as willing as their male counterparts to serve their country; and
WHEREAS, The Department of Defense has opened all Military Occupational Specialties to female servicemembers; and
WHEREAS, Each year we see an increase in female membership in The American Legion; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED...That The American Legion supports the retention of the Selective Service Registration Program as being in the best interests of all Americans, and its maintenance is a proven cost-effective, essential, and rapid means of reconstituting the required forces to protect our national security interests; and, be it finally

RESOLVED, That The American Legion support legislation to amend the Selective Service Registration Program to include the mandatory registration of females between the ages of 18-25 years of age.

There is no word yet on when the House and Senate might take up legislation on this issue.




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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.