Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Women in Combat, Women in the Draft.

 This will likely happen because of Constitutional issues.  What are your thoughts on being drafted or having a daughter drafted.

Panetta: Women May Be Included in Future Draft

Jan 25, 2013

Army equipment officials say engineers are adapting body armor so it provides a more comfortable fit for female soldiers.

Females may be included in the Selective Service and qualify for a potential draft should one be ordered by the president, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said.

The U.S. military’s civilian leader lamented that he didn’t know who ran the Selective Service, but whoever does will “have to exercise some judgment based on what we just did,” Panetta said at a Pentagon press conference Thursday.

On Thursday, Panetta and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, lifted the official ban on women serving in combat roles, removing gender barriers from jobs in the military.

Congress established the U.S. Selective Service as an independent federal agency in 1940, one year ahead of the start of World War II. Presidents had drafted men in previous wars, but this was the first time it was established in peace time. In America’s history, the military has never drafted a woman or ordered her to register for the Selective Service.

That could change as the service leaders determine how to institute the new policy of allowing women to serve in combat arms specialties. In doing so, it may force Congress or the president to include women or scrap the Selective Service, analysts said.

“That, frankly, could be true,” Nancy Duff Campbell, co-president of the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, D.C., told

The Supreme Court cited the exclusion of women from combat in its ruling 30 years ago that the male-only Selective Service System was constitutional.


The inclusion of women in combat roles means a new constitutional challenge to the men-only system could turn out differently, Campbell said. That or the Supreme Court could rule that Selective Service can remain in effect only if women are required to register.

Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, called the Pentagon’s decision “ill-advised.”  In part, she said, because it will affect “unsuspecting civilian women, who will face equal obligations to register for Selective Service when a future federal court rules in favor of litigation brought by the [American Civil Liberties Union] on behalf of men.”

On Wednesday, the ACLU issued a statement in support of the Pentagon’s decision, but said nothing about opening up Selective Service registration to women, or criticizing it for discriminating against men.

As far as Campbell is concerned, women should be signing up right alongside their male counterparts.

“Yes,” she said. “. . . On principle, yes.”

The U.S. Selective Service has begun looking at what it may need in terms of resources should Congress or the president want to make a change.

The system would operate the same way, but the number of people who would have to register each year would about double. The Selective Service has an annual budget of $24 million and 153 full-time employees.

The draft has gone through a number of changes over the past century to include age ranges reaching as high as 45 after the U.S. got into World War II. But through all the changes and wars, women were never included.

Growing opposition to the Vietnam War, coupled with evidence that people with money and connections could avoid it, resulted in Selective Service moving to a lottery system by the end of the 1960s and subsequently ending most deferments.

In 1975, with the U.S. then building an all-volunteer military, Selective Service registration was ended and with it, the draft.

President Jimmy Carter pushed to bring it back, but with a provision that both men and women register. Congress balked at that, however, and resurrected Selective Service as it had been -- for men only.

A lawyer suing to overturn the law argued the female exemption made Selective Service discriminatory and therefore unconstitutional. The Supreme Court ruled otherwise, deciding that the exemption for women was not a violation of equal protections because women were barred by law from combat.

“The purpose of registration was to prepare for a draft of combat troops,” the court stated. “Since women are excluded from combat, Congress concluded that they would not be needed in the event of a draft, and therefore decided not to register them."

The court said military experts testified before Congress in favor of registering women, but “uniformly opposed” drafting them.

In the event of a draft that required 650,000 people, the military likely would want about 80,000 non-combat jobs filled by women, the witnesses told Congress.

“[But] assuming that a small number of women could be drafted for non-combat roles,” the court said, “Congress simply did not consider it worth the added burdens of including women in draft and registration plans.”

by on Jan. 28, 2013 at 8:35 PM
Replies (51-60):
by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 6:16 AM

 I do not see a problem with it. Personally I don't want my boys drafted either but if they have to sign up then so should my daughter.


And just because a person gets drafted doesn't mean they will be accepted. Plenty of men were turned away because they were unfit for combat during the last draft.

by Judy on Jan. 29, 2013 at 6:18 AM
1 mom liked this

Be careful what you pray for, you just might get it.

by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 6:25 AM
2 moms liked this

God people. During WWII they did NOT draft married men with a large amount of kids-NEITHER of my GrandFathers went.

Oh and I don't know how many people remember this-but currently THERE IS NOTHING IN THE CONSTITUTION guaranteeing equal rights for woman.  So it isn't a constitutional issue, as the equal rights amendment NEVER passed.

This is a tempest in a teapot because

1) there is currently no draft in place

2) in countries where they DO draft woman-front line service is optional.

3) there a gazillion support posistions they would use woman for and combat for woman isn't likely-BECAUSE as it currently stands-many woman can';t pass the physical requirements. So IF they drafted-woman would only be able to go into combat if they qualified...and if you don't want to go-don't qualify!

Oh and I have 2 daughters and 2 sons. My oldest daughter would be exempt. My other 3 kids could be drafted. However if the economy remains crummy, I don't see a draft being needed in the forseeable future. As college costs rise, again, I don't see a draft in the forseeable future....

by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 6:28 AM

Quoting Whaaaaaa....O.o:

I am not going to lie. If the draft is put back into place, and women are required to register, I will do whatever I have to to prevent my children (and myself) from being drafted. Heck, I'd rather live in Mexico. It may sound cowardly or whatever to others, but I didn't sign up for this "total equality in everything" scheme, so I do NOT accept the resposibility, nor will my kids. End of story. Their daddy served enough time in the service for all of us.

So you would be fine with your daughters making half as much as your sons doing the same job then right?Or being excluded from some well paying jobs because they are woman.  And might want to have kids....

by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 6:34 AM

On the issue of rape. The Israeli army has had woman in combat and has mandatory service. i don't recall rape beiing a larger issue for them than it is in the US army currently.

by Silver Member on Jan. 29, 2013 at 6:35 AM

My husband and I were talking about women being drafted this weekend. We both feel that there isn't a reason for the draft anymore, especially since they've had to cut the military recently. 

by Sooze on Jan. 29, 2013 at 7:36 AM

Firstly, draft /= combat.

Secondly, with equality comes responsibility.  We can't say we want equality but only the good parts.

by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 8:27 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting lga1965:


Quoting yourspecialkid:


Quoting JoshRachelsMAMA:

Then let them scrap the selective service.

 I don't think that will happen, not with the big drawdawn coming.


 Could you explain this? I am not familiar with the term "drawdown".I could Google it but it seems you have insider info that would be good to know.

 Thank you for asking..I didn't mean to use a term some may not be familiar with.  Drawdown basically means cutting troops.

Most of my info comes from my my husband and my meetings with various military organizations.  However, a good bit of info regarding reduction (not considering sequastrion) is out there. 

Without sequastration (which now appears to be a done deal) the Army was already cutting about 140,00 troops up to 2020.  They are now facing a 30% cut to their budget.  The Air Force is already short allmost 2 billion this year.  The Marines are said to be cutting.  The Pentagon has notified 800,000 to expect furloughs because of sequestration.

More information will be available online as the sequastration cuts shape up...some stuff is still sketchy.

Here is an article from USA Today that discusses it a little.  I put in red the mentioning of troop loss.

WASHINGTON — Military service chiefs outlined spending cuts, including a 30% reduction in operating costs for Army posts, as part of their plans to deal with uncertainty over the size of the federal budget, letters released Wednesday show.

The Pentagon would need to slash $500 billion over the next decade if Congress and the White House cannot reach a deal to bring down the nation's debt by March. In addition, the Pentagon would take an $11 billion cut if its 2013 budget is not approved by late March.

Last week, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned that the cuts would "hollow" out the military rendering it unprepared for conflicts.

On Wednesday, in letters issued to commanders, the armed services warned of lean times ahead for the military. To spare units in combat in Afghanistan and those training for deployment, deeper cuts were ordered for other training exercises and a halt was ordered for civilian hiring.

"The fiscal situation and outlook are serious," Army Secretary John McHugh and Gen. Raymond Odierno, the chief of staff, wrote in their letter to commanders. "Our funding is in doubt as we support forward-deployed troops, those training and Wounded Warriors."

To meet the 30% reduction, Army post commanders will have to reduce their heating and lighting costs and cut back on recreation and community services.

If a budget agreement isn't reached, McHugh and Odierno wrote, furloughs of civilian employees are likely.

Navy and Air Force leaders also ordered hiring freezes and suspension of conferences and non-essential travel.

The Air Force, facing a $1.8 billion shortfall for its operations overseas, called for other reductions. One, familiar to sports fans, would be curtailing flyovers before games.

Beyond the automatic budget cuts, the Pentagon is planning to reduce its budgets by $487 billion over the next 10 years. Those reductions envision thinning the ranks of the Army and Marine Corps by about 100,000 troops.

The Pentagon's $535 billion budget for the current year has not yet been approved by Congress. The Pentagon would take an $11 billion cut if its 2013 budget is not approved by late March, Panetta said last week.

by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 8:35 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting chloedee:


Quoting stephs5isenough:


Quoting chloedee:



Quoting stephs5isenough:

 Women don't even belong in combat.  Men are physically stronger and more capable of that.  God made men and women differently.  Besides, if you put a woman out in that type of situation with a bunch of men, though it is wrong, there is much greater chance of rape, etc.  Combat is just not a place for women.   Draft is definitely wrong, because then we would be putting women out there in that type of situation when against her choice.

Those are  just my thoughts.

Not every woman would meet the physical requirements for a combat role. Some do. Why shouldn't they be given the chance?

If there's a greater chance of rape, then that is an issue on the part of men. Why should women be excluded because of some men's inability to act like decent human beings?

We would be putting women out there against her choice? A draft could put some men out there against their choice- why is that more okay?

 Here we are not talking about a woman's choice to go out there, we are talking about a draft of women.  Although, I personally don't think that they should be out there at all.  Women are just different.  Besides, now we're talking about heving to make seperate accomodations for the women too in an already rough and hosile situation.

I do realize that the greater chance of rape, etc. is a man's issue of acting like a decent human being.  But, I don't want to take a chance of me or my daughter's getting raped while we are waiting for a man to be trained to act right.  This is apparently just an issue that many men deal with and when they are in combat situations they are probably not in a situation where they have a big choice of willing dates and so they are more likely to start acting like "pigs".    That's just the way it is and I'm not sure we should be putting women in those situations.

It is true that a draft would put some men in there against there choice.  It did put my father~in~law in there against his choice.  I have one son who is very anxious to go in to the military and I have a son who DOES NOT want to go.  Yes, I would be very upset if my son who does ot want to go got drafted.  But, they are men and that is just part of what men have always had to do since the beginning of time.  The responsibility of protecting is a responsibility which is naturally in men.  in times of war, combat is that "protecting responsibility."

Why don't you think women should be out there if they make the choice and they fulfill the physical requirements? Do you have any proof of women being "just different" and it negatively impacting other armies in the world that allow women in combat? What seperate accomodations are you talking about?

I don't think men's inability to act decently means that women should be excluded from anything, and I don't think that rape is about not having a choice of "dates". Rape is already a huge problem in the U.S. military- should women be altogether banned from joining at all? Do you have any evidence of the rape rate being higher in combat in countries that allow women in combat?

I don't think your sexist last paragraph is based on anything but your opinion. No one is advocating for an unqualified woman to be placed into combat, but why shouldn't they have to register for the draft? My son isn't any more disposible than my daughter or anymore suited for war because he happened to be born with a penis. Both should be drafted, or neither should. 

 It isnt just about physical requirements or whether or not she could get raped.  War is very brutal..there are no ladies rooms and no time out to change a tampon or go pee.  There are some very good articles out there...I suggest you read some.


by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 8:40 AM
Quoting Tea4Tas:

You need to re-read what I wrote. I worded it very carefully to attempt to avoid assumptions such are yours.

"Total equality in everything". As in civilian workplace yes. Military combat and selective service no.
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)