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US Military Generals: Require Women to Register for Draft

  • by: Perry Sanders III
  • (Tue, 02 Feb 2016 19:50:32 Z)

robert neller.jpg

The top generals in the Army and the Marine Corps told Congress Tuesday that they believe women should have to register for the draft since military combat positions have been opened up to all genders.

Both Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller (pictured above) and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley responded favorably to a question from Sen. Claire McCaskill as to whether Congress should look into expanding selective service to include women.

In December of 2015, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced all jobs would be open with no exceptions, despite a continued request by the Marines to keep certain jobs closed.

The Supreme Court ruled in 1981 that women didn't have to register because combat jobs were closed to them. Carter's monumental implementation has also begged the question as to whether or not women should now be required to register for the draft.

Sen. John McCain, (R-Ariz.) vocalized his disapproval of the Pentagon's decision.

"Put simply, I am concerned that the department has gone about things backwards," he said. "This consequential decision was made and mandated before the military services could study its implications and before any implementation plans were devised to address the serious challenges raised in the studies."

The military leaders testifying also sought to assuage concerns of those who believe opening all combat jobs to women will result in lowered standards.

"You cannot lower standards," Mabus said. "This is not about quotas. It's not about equality of outcome. It's about equality of opportunity. And you've got to keep those standards. You've got to keep them job-related. You've got to keep them very rigorous, and you've got to evolve those standards as our threats and as our challenges evolve. But they've got to evolve for everybody."

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa -- the only female veteran on the Senate committee -- said she fully supported the changes "as long as standards are not lowered" to boost the number of women in combat jobs or force them to meet quotas.

"We need to ensure we don't set up men or women for failure," she said. "It's clear we need to ensure that we're taking into account the impact this could have on women's health."

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