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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 (31-40):
by Platinum Member on Jan. 28, 2013 at 10:14 PM

as fair as any draft ever is, I suppose. with the obvious exception of the usual unconstitutional religious preference for COs.

by Member on Jan. 28, 2013 at 10:19 PM
smh.....i have no words my husband was in the military and its not something i would want for my children or myself.
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by on Jan. 28, 2013 at 10:21 PM
1 mom liked this


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.

 Me too. DH spent 21 in the Air Force and was almost shot down by a Russian MIG in 1969 . He did his duty. He had it covered. I would strongly object to women being drafted. They can vounteer if they have the need to participate.

There is always Canada!

by Silver Member on Jan. 28, 2013 at 10:24 PM
Not cool. Especially since I'm still in age eligible for the draft. 45??? Wow....
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by Ruby Member on Jan. 28, 2013 at 10:30 PM
That's voluntary enlistment. I strongly believe that if both parents have to register, they will have to allow only one to be drafted. Maybe the military will get to choose which one. But if both parents enlist that's a different thing than an involuntary draft. They could already have that dillema with gay parents who have done second parent adoptions. They are going to have to figure this out & when someone hasn't volunteered, it is different. They'll figure it out, if we ever have another draft. Hopefully we won't, but it would be better to resolve it now. If we do have a draft it means many more deaths, so there will be an investment in not sending both parents to war so that we don't orphan an entire generation or two.

Quoting meriana:


Quoting Bookwormy:

I'm never OK with the draft! However, I see absolutely nothing wrong with drafting women as well as men. They will obviously have to take into account not drafting both parents. That's all. I think they should let parents decide which is more appropriate if both are 100% elligible. No, I don't want my DD drafted. If I had a son, I wouldn't want him drafted either! I will want my DD to register as a consciencious objector, if she chooses & is able. If I'm required to register, at 42yo, I will do the same. We both have asthma, so they may not want us anyway. My partner, at 46yo, is too old. But why shouldn't women be drafted? Makes no sense.

There's no reason to think they'd take the fact of children into account. Right now there are families where both husband and wife are in the military or a single parent is. From what I've heard, all they do is have the parent(s) file a care plan (relative, family friend, whatever) for the kids should the worst happen. Wives and/or kid's are not an excuse that allows an opt out. I don't know if it's still the way, but when Dh was in the Navy, the saying concerning wives was, "If the Navy wanted you to have a wife, they would have issued you one in your seabag".


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by Bronze Member on Jan. 28, 2013 at 10:33 PM

I think the draft is dumb why ? Becuase some women like some men would, not be very good in the military...   I see  a baby boom if thier is a draft....

by Bronze Member on Jan. 28, 2013 at 10:38 PM
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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. 

by on Jan. 28, 2013 at 10:42 PM
1 mom liked this
Quoting lga1965:

Canada IS beautiful. Lol.
by Member on Jan. 28, 2013 at 10:48 PM
1 mom liked this

This is how I feel. I wouldn't want my son drafted just as much as I wouldn't want my daughters to be. I don't see punishing our sons just because they are males, it's not like it was their choice to be born boys.

Quoting mandaday:

I feel the same way about my daughter being drafted as I do about my sons. I think it sucks all around. I would hope they would at least make exemptions for married couples who have children.

by on Jan. 28, 2013 at 10:54 PM

I disagree with the draft entirely in "peace" time, for men or women.  But if it is lept in place for men, then it should be required for women as well.

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