Pride Month: Armed Forces Commissioner Wants to Make the Draft Gender Neutral

MAHLWINKEL, GERMANY - MARCH 16: Members of the NBC squad perform their skills during the visit of German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius at the joint support service (Streitkraeftebasis) of the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces, on March 16, 2023 in Mahlwinkel, Germany. His visit follows the recent release of a …
Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

Germany should strongly consider implementing a mandatory gender-neutral draft, the country’s Armed Forces Commissioner has said.

Eva Högl, the left-wing politician who serves as Germany’s Armed Forces Commissioner, has suggested that a mandatory one-year draft for all young people could be what is needed to revitalise the country’s military.

The suggestion comes amid numerous reports indicating the progressive country’s armed forces are in a particularly sorry state, with the country’s defence minister openly admitting back in March that the military was incapable of defending Germany from foreign threats.

According to a report by Der Spiegel, Högl believes the return of what she calls a “year of service for Germany” could reverse the country’s fortunes, emphasising that such a mandatory gender-neutral draft could help boost poor recruitment numbers within the country’s army.

The commissioner emphasised that such a mandatory service period could be made completable in either the military or civilian sector, but that young people of all genders could be enticed to join the country’s army by being required to take its fitness exam.

“One could, as in Sweden, invite an entire year of young people to be drafted for the Bundeswehr. And then, if they are fit for military service, let them decide for themselves whether they want to get involved or not,” she said, adding that such a process could be applied to “all genders”.

Although seemingly progressive in its outlook, it is unclear whether the Social Democratic Party member’s suggestion to refresh Germany’s struggling military would actually work in practice.

Even ignoring the issues brought up by Högl herself regarding the lack of staff to train these new recruits, the German army is already struggling with munitions shortages.

In particular, efforts to aid the Zelensky administration’s war effort against Russia has come with a substantial cost to the armed forces, with one senior official warning that armories across the country had been left bare due to government decisions to ship off weapons, ammo and equipment to the Eastern front.

“The support of [Ukraine] with material is still right and serves the security of all of us,” the chief of Germany’s Bundeswehr said in January, before telling politicians that the country needed to keep a basic level of supplies for domestic defence.

“There comes a point where we can no longer do our jobs,” he warned.

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