A recommendation by a national commission to the U.S. Congress is pushing for an amendment to the draft. The commission, required by the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, says all Americans ages 18 to 25 should be required to register for the draft – not just men. HR 6415 was introduced to the House on March 27th.
Even though every man aged 18 to 25 is required to register for the draft when they get their driver’s license, the draft has not been implemented for more than 40 years. This year, the U.S. is celebrating the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote. Since women gained their right to vote, the question of including women for selective service has been present.
“It’s insulting to suggest America’s mothers and wives and daughters couldn’t contribute, whether the need were rebuilding levees after a natural disaster or repelling an invasion from our shores,” Kori Schake, the director of foreign and defense policy studies at American Enterprise Institute told the commission. “America’s daughters should be slotted into service as their physical and emotional suitability proves capable of, just like America’s sons.”
The historic decision of The Pentagon opening all combat roles in the military to women occured in 2015. This is a great feat for equality in the military. But this decision is world’s apart from the decision of forcing women to sign up for selective service.
Women shouldn’t have to sign up for the draft. However, men shouldn’t have to either. The question of whether women should be required to register for the draft is a moot point. It hasn’t been used for such a long time, that the draft shouldn’t be a requirement for anyone. The U.S. military, as of 2017, has 1.3 million active duty personnel and 800,000 in reserve forces.
During the Vietnam War, the U.S. Army had 33,544 casualties. Out of these casualties, 50.5 percent were draftees. Many men who voluntarily joined the military did so because they knew they would be drafted, but joining voluntarily let the men choose their branch and specialties.
The Vietnam War is infamous for the number of casualties and disabilities it caused. Casualty or disability is never good, but it is even worse for those who were forced to join the military.
Not wanting women to be forced to join the draft isn’t because women shouldn’t be viewed equally as men, but because no one should be forced to sign up for the military.
Especially now, during COVID-19, National Guard members are being sent out to combat the pandemic. Depending on how much more severe COVID-19 gets, the President could use the draft to enlist Americans to be at a different type of frontline.
Requiring women to register for the draft could be seen as a feat for women’s rights, but the disestablishment of the draft would be a feat for the young people of the U.S.