Since its inception, women have fought in this country’s wars — based on stories passed down generationally and ample evidence since WWII. Yet, it was not until 2016 the military opened up combat jobs to women. The next logical step is to require them to join men 18-25 in being required to register with the Selective Service, according to the Senate Armed Services Committee’s annual budget report released on July 22, 2021.
Essentially, women would be registering to be drafted into military service. While the government has not instituted the draft since the Vietnam War, should volunteer numbers drop enough to cause a shortage of service members or other unforeseen need arises, there is a possibility of reinstituting the draft.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) approved by the committee on Wednesday included language indicating women will be required to register with the Selective Service. Last year both the House and Senate included the same change. However, when the former submitted its final draft, it removed the clause.
After the chambers debated their differences, they came to terms. When passing the bill last year, establishing a commission to review new draft requirements was included. Earlier this year, the committee chair said he hoped the new language would be included in this year’s NDAA bill.
If the bill does revise Military Selective Service Act to include women, the Selective Service System (SSS) website will have to amend its list of who is required to register. Currently, it indicates that most 18 to 24-year-old men U.S. citizens and immigrants must register for the military draft along with this disclaimer:
It’s important to know that even though he is registered, a man will not automatically be inducted into the military. Then, they would be examined for mental, physical, and moral fitness by the military before being deferred or exempted from military service or inducted into the Armed Forces.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
The Hill: Senate panel votes to make women register for draft; by Rebecca Kheel
Selective Service System: Who Needs to Register
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