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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 (81-90):
by AllieCat on Jan. 29, 2013 at 6:15 PM

If a woman wants to join combat, let her.  But I do not want her whining about it, for any reason, at any time.

by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 7:31 PM

if you say so.eye rolling

Quoting Tea4Tas:

Quoting Whaaaaaa....O.o:

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.

You said you never signed up for this. you can't sign up for "partial" equality. Woman who want to and CAN be in combat should be allowed to dbe in combat.  Woman who have no desire won't pass the qualifications anyhow......

by Whoopie on Jan. 29, 2013 at 7:39 PM

As the mom to both a daughter and a son, I would feel horrible if either were involved in a deployment or combat.

Why would the feeling be different for a daughter vs a son? IMO, offspring  are offspring. I'd feel equally as horrible if either were sick, dying or dead- gender does not matter.

by Platinum Member on Jan. 29, 2013 at 7:41 PM
If we ask that of young men I see no reason we shouldnt ask it of young women.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
by Silver Member on Jan. 29, 2013 at 7:47 PM

I think that if women truely want equal rights in the military than yes they should be included in the draft. However, i think that similar steps to get out of it should be given to mothers just like they can get out of the service.

I don't really want to see the draft anyway. I do not want someone who does not want to be there watching my husbands back. no thanks.

by Whoopie on Jan. 29, 2013 at 7:47 PM

My daughter is very, very tough.

My son is much more touchy, feely and quick with the "I love you."

Quoting Arroree:


I have to say my sisters would kick more ass in a warzone than my brothers would. They're way more vicious and have no mercy lol.

Quoting ashleyrenee24:

Exactly what I'm thinking. I don't see why women shouldn't be drafted.

Quoting katy_kay08:

women should absolutely have to register for selective service and be considered for the draft.  I don't see this as an unwelcome consequence.  If we want equality it comes with responsibilities as well.  

by Platinum Member on Jan. 29, 2013 at 7:51 PM
1 mom liked this
If your only arguements are that we wont we able to change our tampons or powder our noses I think you need to take a step back and look at how lame those arguements are.

Im gonna guess, when youre taking enemy fire, the last thing on your mind is checking your make up FFS.

Quoting yourspecialkid:


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.


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by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 7:59 PM

 I dont like the whole notion of the draft, but both should register..  Both can volunteer, so both should be "drafted".  

by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 8:19 PM

Well, with equality comes responsibiltiy

by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 8:29 PM

It seems to have worked well for the Israelis!  Having women register for the draft seems a natural consequence of this change in policy.  Ideally, no one should have to be drafted and go into combat but this is not an ideal world.  If women want equal rights, with that comes equal responsibilities. 

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