Women and Selective Service

What Is The Selective Service

We’re so glad you asked

The stated mission of the Selective Service or the Draft is “. . . To furnish manpower to the Defense Department during a national emergency, to manage alternative service for men classified as conscientious objectors, and to register, with only a few exceptions, all male U.S. citizens and male immigrants residing in the United States who are ages 18 through 25 . . . “

So, in other words, the Selective Service exists to mobilize soldiers in the event of a national emergency. Every male is supposed to register so they can be found if they are needed to fight a war.

The draft ended in January 1973 after the Vietnam War but was reinstated in July of 1980. Since then young men between the ages of 18 and 26 have been required to register.

In Illinois, as in many other states, young men are automatically registered when they apply for a driver’s license unless they refuse by not checking the box.

Should Women Be Required To Register For Selective Service?

A Little Background:

December 3, 2015, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced that all combat jobs in the U.S. military will be opened to women.

The Selective Service law as it is written refers specifically to “male persons” in stating who must register and who would be drafted. For women to be required to register with the Selective Service Congress would have to amend the law. Will that happen?

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