Back in December, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that every last position in the U.S. military, combat jobs included, would be open to women. The move was a victory for equality in the armed forces—and it also has major significance for every young woman in America. The Hill reports that top military leaders now want women to have to register for the draft.
Currently, men between 18 and 26 have to register for the Selective Service System and show up for military system if called, even though the last draft happened during the Vietnam War. Back in 1981, the Supreme Court ruled that women didn't have to register for the draft because they weren't eligible for combat jobs. But since that's not an issue anymore, many of the top military brass say it's time for women to step up if duty calls.
Gen. Mark Milley, chief of staff of the army, and Gen. Robert Neller, commandant of the Marine Corps, testified in front of the Senate Armed Service Committee Tuessday that anyone who's physically qualified to serve, both men and women, should have to register for the draft.
"Now that the restrictions that exempted women from [combat jobs] don't exist, then you're a citizen of a United States," Neller said, according to The Washington Post. "It doesn't mean you're going to serve, but you go register."
Sen. Claire McCaskill agreed with the military leaders, saying that even the idea of the draft may make women consider joining the military as volunteers. "Part of me believes that asking women to register as we ask men to register would maybe, possibly open up more recruits as women began to think about, 'Well, the military is an option for me,' " she said. "I think it's the right thing going forward."
Currently, the Selective Service System is fighting two lawsuits: one that argues it's unfair to men, and one that says it's unfair that women can't register. If Congress opens the draft to women, those issues would be resolved.
Follow Marie Claire on Instagram for the latest celeb news, pretty pics, funny stuff, and an insider POV.
Marie Claire Newsletter
Celebrity news, beauty, fashion advice, and fascinating features, delivered straight to your inbox!
Megan Friedman is the former managing editor of the Newsroom at Hearst. She's worked at NBC and Time, and is a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.
The Anthropologie Cyber Monday Sale Feels Like Stealing
Some of these sales are so good, the mind reels.
By Alicia Lutes
Chrissy Teigen and Daughter Luna's Hairstyling Bonding Moment Is the Cutest Thing
The Legend girls are big fans of the Dyson Airwrap.
By Sophia Vilensky
Dolly Parton’s Cheerleader Glam Was the Highlight of Thanksgiving Game Day
We know exactly who won this one.
By Sophia Vilensky
36 Ways Women Still Aren't Equal to Men
It's just one of the many ways women still aren't equal to men.
By Brooke Knappenberger
How New York's First Female Governor Plans to Fight for Women If Reelected
Kathy Hochul twice came to power because men resigned amid sexual harassment scandals. Here, how she's leading differently.
By Emily Tisch Sussman
Why the 2022 Midterm Elections Are So Critical
As we blaze through a highly charged midterm election season, Swing Left Executive Director Yasmin Radjy highlights rising stars who are fighting for women’s rights.
By Tanya Benedicto Klich
Tammy Duckworth: 'I’m Mad as Hell' About the Lack of Federal Action on Gun Safety
The Illinois Senator won't let the memory of the Highland Park shooting just fade away.
By Sen. Tammy Duckworth
Roe Is Gone. We Have to Keep Fighting.
Democracy always offers a path forward even when we feel thrust into the past.
By Beth Silvers and Sarah Stewart Holland, hosts of Pantsuit Politics Podcast
The Supreme Court's Mississippi Abortion Rights Case: What to Know
The case could threaten Roe v. Wade.
By Megan DiTrolio
Sex Trafficking Victims Are Being Punished. A New Law Could Change That.
Victims of sexual abuse are quietly criminalized. Sara's Law protects kids that fight back.
By Dr. Devin J. Buckley and Erin Regan
My Family and I Live in Navajo Nation. We Don't Have Access to Clean Running Water
"They say that the United States is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Why are citizens still living with no access to clean water?"
By Amanda L. As Told To Rachel Epstein