Pentagon Recommends Requiring Women to Sign Up for Draft

FILE - In this Feb. 21, 2013 file photo, female recruits stand at the Marine Corps Training Depot on Parris Island, S.C. The U.S. Marine Corps for the first time is eyeing a plan to let women attend what has been male-only combat training in Southern California, as officials work …
AP Photo/Bruce Smith, File

The Pentagon recommended that women be required to register for the draft to boost military enrollment, according to a Defense Department report addressed to Congress.

The report, obtained by the Washington Times, said the Selective Service System would increase enrollment by 11 million people if the U.S. required women to sign up for the draft.

“It appears that, for the most part, expanding registration for the draft to include women would enhance further the benefits presently associated with the Selective Service System,” the report said.

Only male citizens and immigrants between the ages of 18 and 25 are currently required to sign up for the draft, according to the Selective Service System website.

The report noted that the Selective Service System receives an additional two million sign-ups per year under the current law.

The Pentagon has tried to integrate more women into the military in recent years.

Former Obama Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced in 2015 that the military would allow women to serve in combat roles.

Carter’s announcement raised the question of whether women should be required to register for the draft in future years.

The federal government has never required women to register for Selective Service in the Selective Service Act’s 100-year history. Congress would have to amend the current law before they would be required to sign up.

Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act in 2016, which called for a yearly review of the draft system but stopped short of requiring women to register for the Selective Service.


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