Forcing American Daughters into the Selective Service

Background: In January 2013, then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta directed the military services to review policies with the goal of integrating women into all combat roles by January 2016. On December 3, 2015, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter confirmed the decision without exception, and directed that all gender-based requirements for military service be removed by January 3, 2016. This order came despite military evaluations that raised concerns on this issue.

The decision to allow women to serve in all combat units has sparked a debate on whether women should be required to register for the Selective Service, making them eligible for conscription if Congress reinstates the draft for future military needs.

Forcing women to register for the draft a premature conclusion: Leading up to the decision to open all combat positions to women, evaluations raised questions about the effectiveness of mixed gender units in ground combat tasks. According to an extensive 9-month Marine Corps’ Gender Integration Task Force study, which evaluated mixed gender units in 134 combat training activities, all-male units outperformed mixed units in 69 percent of the tasks while mixed units outperformed male units in just 2 tasks.

Additional evidence from the Marine Corps evaluation showed that women had an injury rate twice that of men when performing combat-related tasks. The increased risk of injury could threaten their personal safety as well as the safety of their fellow soldiers in combat situations.

Supporting equality does not require forcing women to register for the draft: Conservatives believe women and men have equal natural rights, and equality means that law should treat things that are the same in the same ways. But when it comes to combat-related tasks, there are differences between men and women that are relevant to accomplishing the military mission.

According to former Marine Corps servicewoman and current Sentinel Jude Eden, “Combat is not an equal opportunity for women because they don’t have an equal opportunity to survive.” If women’s increased risk of injury makes them more vulnerable when engaging the enemy, why would Congress ever want to require women to be registered for the Selective Service, and ultimately the draft?

Women can and do contribute significantly to the overall mission of the military. But military personnel policy, particularly when it comes to combat, should be determined based on military objectives and preparedness, not President Obama’s social agenda.

Conclusion: Congress should prohibit the drafting of our daughters into military services through the Selective Service. The Conference Committee is set to resolve the differences between the Senate’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2017 (S. 2943), which currently includes a provision forcing women ages 18-26 to sign up for the Selective Service, and the House’s NDAA (H.R. 4909), which does not. Congress should strip out the provision forcing women into the draft by adopting the House’s bill in Conference Committee.

Please Share Your Thoughts

8 thoughts on “Forcing American Daughters into the Selective Service

  1. I was drafted and served with WACS in my organization, there is NO reason to NOT draft women, except a sexes notion of non-equality, 9x% of people in the armed forces aren’t on the front lines and many positions can be filled by either sex.

  2. The purpose of a military draft is not to fill support jobs far removed from the front line. The purpose is to have a supply of infantry to rapidly replace casualties fallen in battle, in order to fight and ultimately win a war when America is under attack and combat troops are dying. In the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, the largest sectors are infantry. Since the exemption of women from combat terminated (as of January, 2016), if women are drafted, they can expect to be assigned to combat duty on the front lines of whatever war prompts the draft.
    Defense Secretary Ashton Carter stated last December that women meeting minimal “gender-neutral” standards would be ordered into the combat arms on the same >involuntary< basis as men are.
    The small % of women who can meet the minimum standards would be trained and ordered into combat arms units such as the infantry, where the critical need to fight is greatest. Women could not count on being assigned to support positions.
    There is EVERY reason to not draft women: If our wives, mothers, sisters and daughters are placed in combat, Who is left for us men to fight for? It would leave us no reason to fight. And our nation would no longer be a country worth dying for.

    Don’t lose chivalry because you are afraid of male chauvinism. When men show chivalry toward the women-folk, we are not being chauvinist. But if we refuse to be chivalrous, we become worse than chauvinists.

  3. I called and emailed senators Alexander and Corker again today describing the urgency of a No Vote.

  4. The very idea that women should be forced into the draft is misogynistic. It betrays an aggressive disregard and disrespect for women. Shame on our nation for even having this on the table for discussion.

  5. I submitted a Letter to the Editor of Knoxville News Sentinel today. Requesting subscribers call their Senators to adopt the House version of the bill. I just received a response that
    they are considering it for publication, see today’s Friday section for more info. thanks

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