Miss Draftee: Women and the Selective Service Draft

  Words by Mike Weisbecker.

So I started thinking more about DOD’s mandate to open as many of the trades currently off-limits to women as feasibly possible by 2016. Some will be easier (serving on submarines) than others (special operator). 

So after 13 plus years of asymmetric warfare (not up on what the hipster-kale-eater-gluten-free term is for this now) with women serving in convoys and having their units attacked outright or by IED’s left as presents from the Taliban, why are women 18-25 not registering for Selective Service?

The party line has been that having young women register for the draft would tear asunder our great Republic (yeah, we are a Republic not a Democracy folks). 

I know the easy answer is Congress hasn’t gotten around to updating the law with all the other stuff they are busy with… (?) That is, the 100 or so days they are actually in session. 

Women have made great strides in the military in the last 40 years or so.  From the first cadets taken into the service academies in the mid to late 70’s; being allowed to maintain aircraft in the USAF in the late 70’s-early 80’s; flying combat sorties in Iraq and Afghanistan in the war on terror in the last 13 years. But where is the hue and cry from women’s rights groups?  This goes hand in hand with equal pay for equal work to me.  An E-5 with 6 years of service makes the same base pay whether they hand out towels at the base gym or plod thru reams of intel, building the daily brief for their commanding officer. 

Most notable is Tammy Duckworth.  She lost both legs as a result of her chopper she was co-piloting was hit by an RPG.  She also had her right arm severely damaged.  Sounds like combat to me.  Until she ran for Congress, most folks didn’t know who she was.  Her injuries didn’t tear the country apart.  She was just another warrior who came home with pretty substantial physical challenges to overcome. 

Guess what?  Many more women have come home with similar physical injuries and many more with non-tangible issues.  The war came to anyone in theater. 

It isn’t fair to either sex to leave out one from the responsibility of registering for selective service.  A friend of mine with two sons asked that question to herself as she watched her sons fill out their forms at the Post Office.  Why is it acceptable for them to be eligible for a draft that most likely will never come, but excuse women? 

I challenge women’s rights groups to petition Congress to make this as fair as equal pay for equal work.

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