February 5, 2016
The top generals in the Army and Marine Corps told Senate lawmakers that women should be required to register for the draft.
testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the generals said
it would take about three years for women to fully integrate into
combat roles, following Secretary of Defense Ash Carter's directive to
open up all military jobs to women.
The topic of the hearing was
on how the services were moving forward under the new implementation of
the full integration directive, but the topic of women and registration
for the draft quickly took center stage.
Army Chief of Staff
Gen. Mark Milley and Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller said
they believe every physically qualified American should be required to
register for the draft. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Acting Army
Secretary Patrick Murphy were more nuanced in their responses, saying
the topic should be put to a national debate.
The service leaders all agreed that they would not lower standards to accommodate women.
America officially ended the draft and moved to an all-volunteer force
(AVF) in 1973, men between the ages of 18 and 26 still are required to
register for the draft to create a pool of eligible recruits in the
event of a national emergency. Women have previously not needed to
register because they weren't allowed to fill critical combat
That has changed, as previously closed military specialties are now open to women.
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