The White House has voiced support for making it a requirement for women to register in the military draft, reported USA Today Thursday. The discussion of women participating in the military draft has been happening for about a year.
"As old barriers for military service are being removed, the administration supports — as a logical next step — women registering for the Selective Service," said White House National Security Council spokesman Ned Price in a statement. Despite the Obama administration’s support for women being required to register Price said the administration still supports an all-volunteer military and doesn't plan to reinstate the draft.
As Selective Service (a.k.a. the military draft) works now, women can join the military but aren’t required to sign up for the draft, while men of age are obligated to register. (Men are required to register within 30 days of turning 18 years old.) Despite the fact registering for the draft is mandatory for men, they aren’t required to serve except if there’s a national emergency, such as a world war. It would take Congressional action to change the draft policy to include women, who would also have to register at age 18.
According to President Obama, including women in the draft would be another step in promoting gender equality in the armed service. The Pentagon also supported including women in the draft. "It makes sense for women to register for Selective Service just as men must," said Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook.