In March, the Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, announced that all branches of the military will be allowing women into combat roles. 220,000 jobs are now open to women that were not before. Women have always been involved in the military in other roles. However, they have been barred from combat positions until now.
In April, Kristin Griest became the country’s first female Army infantry soldier. The military is working on their training programs to take women into account. The physical readiness standards will likely be different for women.
Now, Congress is about to start requiring women to register for the draft. The female draft requirement was approved Thursday by the Senate Armed Services Committee. Beginning in 2018, women will be required to register for the draft within 30 days of turning 18.
Republican Utah Senator Mike Lee had this to say after he voted against the bill:
“This is a highly consequential — and, for many American families, a deeply controversial — decision that deserves to be resolved by Congress after a robust and transparent debate in front of the American people, instead of buried in an embargoed document that is passed every year to fund military pay and benefits.”
The House is expected to take up the bill next week.
Women were almost drafted during World War II due to a shortage of nurses, but there was an influx of volunteers.
We have not held any drafts since 1973, during the Vietnam War, but now all men are required to register when they turn 18. The House has shifted $18 billion dollars in funds to the military for 2017. This is supposed to cover the addition of troops and weapons for them. The Senate did not follow the House’s lead; they didn’t shift that money.
Top officers in all branches of the military have expressed approval for allowing women to be drafted.
Featured image via YouTube screengrab.