The role of women in the military is about to get a serious makeover!
On Tuesday, the Senate approved an expansive military policy bill that would for the first time require young women to register for the draft when they turn 18.
Though the bill has its vocal opposers of conservative lawmakers, the gender equality shift had a ton of support among Republicans and women in both parties.
Although the U.S. hasn't used the draft since 1973 during the Vietnam War, the impact of the policy change would reflect the positively evolving role of women in the military.
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Under the Senate bill, women turning 18 on or after January 1 2018 would be required to register for Selective Service — just like their male peers have always been forced to do — and risk the loss of federal aid by failing to register.
Among the policy's vocal supporters is Republican Senator John McCain, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, who said:
"The fact is, every single leader in this country, both men and women, members of the military leadership, believe that it's fair since we opened up all aspects of the military to women that they would also be registering for Selective Services."
In December, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said the Pentagon would open all combat jobs to women — which led military officials to tell Congress that women should also be required to sign up for the draft.
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While most Republican senators — along with the women on the Armed Services Committee — agree that "every American who's physically qualified should register for the draft," the new policy has its fierce opposers.
After voting against the bill,
the lamest presidential candidate in recent memory Senator Ted Cruz said in a prepared statement:
"I could not in good conscience vote to draft our daughters into the military, sending them off to war and forcing them into combat."
The debate will now continue against the House of Representatives before the bill is able to reach the White House — but military experts say even if the policy fails in Congress, the issue of compelling women to enlist isn't going away!
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Nora Bensahel, a military policy analyst, said:
"I think the change is inevitable, whether in this debate or through the courts. It just seems that now that you have women allowed to serve in any position in the military, there is no logical basis to say women should not be drafted."
Sign us up for that equality!
Though it is scary to think about anyone serving in the infantry, clearly the powers at be are smart enough to realize women can kick some serious ass in the armed forces.
Let's just hope it doesn't come to that any time soon…
[Image via Facebook.]
Tags: ashton b. carter, daughters, girl power, gun, house of representatives, john mccain, legal matters, military, nora bensahel, politik, republican, ted cruz, united states senate