A 3-year-old little girl ran into her father’s arms as he departed from his plane. He just arrived to America from an 11-month deployment to Afghanistan, where protected his country just as he protects his baby girl. He can only do so much to protect her and now one day she could possibly be sent to fill in the same unsafe shoes her father was in.
Draft American’s Daughters Act was proposed February 4, 2016. According to congress.gov, the bill “amends the Military Selective Service Act to extend the registration and conscription requirements of the Selective Service System to all U.S. citizens and residents between the ages of 18 and 26.”
Two Republican representatives Duncan Hunter, Marine veteran and Ryan Zinke, a retired Navy Seal proposed the bill after it was recommended by both the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army.
Although the bill has yet to pass, it has created animosity throughout America within certain groups as well as individuals here in the Santa Clarita Valley.
“I disagree,” Brianne Silva, COC student said. “Women are built differently than men first off. Second off who is going to stay home and work in the factories like women did in World War II? What about the men who are not strong enough?”
Times have changed since 1973 where the last draft was conducted at the end of the Vietnam War.
“Men aren’t the same as they were in the wars we’ve fought before, but I would hope the military would select the strongest men first to go out and defend our country,” Silva said.
According to the Washington Post, a survey conducted in 2013 by “Mason-Dixon Polling & Research shows that 59 percent believe women should be included if a draft becomes necessary again.” As well as 38 percent saying they should not be included.
“If males are required to sign up, women should be also. Not only for gender equality, but also it’s only fair,” Sydney Howard, Santa Clarita resident said. “On the other hand, America is blessed to have so many different cultures and religions here. I’m sure there are some that wouldn’t agree or don’t believe in fighting war.”
Male American Citizens have been required to register for the selective service since May 18, 1917.
Women have served in the military in roles such as nurses and support in armies since World War I, and women even disguised themselves as men to fight on the front lines.
In 1981 the supreme court decision in Rostker v Goldberg prevented woman to fulfill combat positions. December 3, 2015 combat roles were officially opened back up to women.
“If you are woman who knows damn well that you can serve our country, I say go for it and join as soon as possible! As for me I know my body is not capable for the stress of war. It’s science and that’s the way I feel,” Silva said.
If this new bill passes, women will also be required to register for the selective service, and if the draft becomes active again, women could be drafted.“In all the likelihood females, if ever drafted, will fill these support positions; clerical work, medical, transportation, and more. They will not fill a combat job. If they wanted to fill a combat role they will have to pass a physical fitness test,” Ashley Fairbanks, CSUN student said.
The last action on the bill was by House Armed Services in March 2016, when it was referred to the Subcommittee on Military Personnel.
Even though there has not been any recent movement on the bill, women should still be prepared for the bills possible advancement.
One of the biggest consequences for neglecting to register for the selective service, even if you believe you are not eligible is imprisonment up to five years along with a $250,000 fine and a felony added to your record.
To this date this penalty only affects males, but may affect females in the future if the bill passes.
Alongside imprisonment, failure to register will affect financial aid for people born after December 31, 1959. Sss.gov states those “who aren’t registered with Selective Service won’t qualify for federal student loans or grant programs.” This includes the following: “Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), Direct Stafford Loans/Plus Loans, National Direct Student Loans, and College Work Study.”
Within 30 days after your 18th birthday you will be required to register, and if you are a non-citizen you must register 30 days after entering the country.
Equality is one of the biggest issues today in America. The sss.gov states almost all males, residents and immigrants no matter of race, disabilities, if mobile and even if you’re hospitalized during the 30 days.
Transgender individuals “who are born female and changed their gender to male are not required to register,” at this time sss.gov said. “U.S. citizens or immigrants who are born male and changed their gender to female are still required to register.”
This bill creates equality for all genders and communities. “It’s a good idea because of gender equality and allowing women the same opportunities that men have been given for many years. However, it could change some of the other rules and regulations already set in place,” Katy Hoerman, Channel Islands University student said.
In April 2017 Donald Mark Benton, a former Santa Clarita Resident was appointed Director of Selective Service for President Donald Trump.
Michael McPhearson, leader of an anti-war advocacy group Veterans for Peace, told snopes.com, “Benton’s appointment also allows him to appoint members to Selective Service local boards.”
If a new military draft was implemented snopes.com says “the boards determine eligibility for military deferments or exemptions. The boards also rule on conscientious objector petitions.”
McPhearson is worried Benton’s lack of military experience will affect his views.
The Department of Defense told military.com they had no problem with women registering for the draft.
The lawmakers who have looked at the bill have been said by multiple sources to have dodged the bill.
Some Americans are against the draft all together. “I personally don’t think a draft should exist at all, but if there is one then all genders should be included,” Alexes Ciardi, SCV resident said.
“I’m against the draft. I believe we should have a professional military; it might be smaller, but it would be more effective,” Jesse Ventura, professional wrestler and political commentator said.
Most woman who voluntary sign up for the military see no problem with the draft. “I do see how a lot of other people do. Since they do not understand how our military works,” Fairbanks said. “Not everyone carries 60 pounds on their back and a weapon across a war zone. The army also needs human resource, lawyers, firefighters, military police officers, truck drivers, mechanics and cooks. Not everyone is in combat, but everyone is needed.”
One of our Founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson wisely said, “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
Our liberty is not guaranteed therefore someone must fight, may it be voluntary or through the draft, America’s sons and daughters should be prepared to stand for their country at any moment.