Women could soon be required to register for selective service

Selective Service System (courtesy: Associated Press)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Last week the House Armed Services Committee narrowly passed a measure that would require women to register for the selective service. The proposed require still has to be voted on by the House. The highly controversial topic is one step closer to becoming a reality.

The Armed Fores recently opened up most combat jobs for women. A woman in the military now has the opportunity to volunteer for jobs like infantry, or field artillery. After the combat job openings, back in February, some members of congress asked if women should be forced to register.

If the selective service becomes reality, all women would be required to register for the selective service just like men would.

Right now, men ages 18-25 are required to register. For those who registered, in the event of a major war or a designated military need, the selective service could draft people into the military.

The last time the draft happened was in 1973 for the Vietnam War.

Failure to register for the selective service could bring up to a $250,000 fine, and five years in jail. It can also prevent people from getting financial aid, and eligibility for a government job.

We asked Western New Yorkers about how they feel if this requirement was extended to women.

Kathy Clayton says, “I kind of feel bad for them that way, it’s not for everyone, I couldn’t do it, if I had to go, I couldn’t go.”

Nahkema Clay says, “It’s a frightening concept to be drafted male or female, but if we want to participate in the Armed Forces, be treated fairly and equally. But to register, it shouldn’t really matter your gender.”

The proposal was inserted into the annual defense spending bill which will be up for a full vote by the House of Representatives in mid-May.

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