Should Women have to Register for the Draft?


Daniel Mutko, Reporter

A federal Judge ruled that only males being required to sign up for the selective service is unconstitutional. When a male turns the age of 18 they are required to sign up for the draft and if they don’t they are punished. These punishments include loss of eligibility for federal student aid, federal job training, or a federal job. Men may also face losing the right to vote and their driver’s license. They can even face a fine up to $250,000 or get up to 5 years of jail time. Women are exempt from the draft yet men can face these brutal punishments if they don’t sign up for the draft.

This topic has gone to supreme court before in 1981 in the Rostker v. Goldberg trial. The court ruled it wasn’t unconstitutional simply because women at that time weren’t allowed to serve in combat roles. This has changed, since 2013 women are now allowed to serve in a combat MOS. With this change of law the selective service may now change as well.

One of three things can happen if the district court ruling is upheld. The first being that women would have to register after turning 18 just like men do. The second is the selective service can be eliminated altogether and no one would have to sign up. The third would be that selective service becomes voluntary and no one would lose and benefits for not registering. The draft has been eliminated before but it never had women register or become voluntary. I don’t see it becoming voluntary as military branches already barely meet recruiting goals and the army even failed to meet the goal in 2018.

The military is not even a thought for many Americans and limiting the draft to half the population could mean bad news in the event of a major conflict. Majority of the population fails to meet the requirements to join right now and limiting it to half the population puts an even bigger limit on ability to serve. Another concern with making women register is that it might hurt the amount of people voluntarily signing up as women might think they will be forced into a combat role.

With transgenders not being allowed to serve in the military this also raises the question of who actually even qualifies. With the rising number of transgenders the selective service currently uses the gender at birth for who is required to sign up. Men who transition into women could file for an exemption if the draft is to continue under current circumstances.

More questions arise about what a family will do if both parents are drafted that just aren’t answered yet. Currently to enlist in the military you can’t be a single parent with a child under the age of 18. This might mean that if both parents are drafted one will go while the other will be the caretaker of the children.

In my personal opinion I believe that military service should be mandatory for everyone but that would be considered unconstitutional. This alters my opinion so that women should be required to register for selective service but if drafted they shouldn’t be put in combat roles. My reasoning behind this is comes from a year long marine study which was conducted to test all male units to mixed gender units. In the findings of the test the all male units were more successful across the board. The women had more injuries, were less accurate with their weapons, struggled with obstacles , and lacked speed in moving towards a target and removing a casualty from combat. This could mean life or death in real situations and equality isn’t as important as a soldier who made a sacrifice for their country and fellow soldiers. I also believe women can hurt the morality of a group weakening the brotherhood these men gain. On top of this women may be more vulnerable to sexual assault or harassment in these situations especially if taken as a POW.