Public service option in the U.S. is being evaluated by the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service to determine if women should be included in military drafts or if involuntary drafts should just be discarded altogether.
Members of the commission are still weighing out the options before making any recommendations in a report that isn’t due to go before the White House and Congress until March 2020, Task & Purpose reported.
Besides determining how to handle future military drafts and women’s role in them, the commission said in their interim report released on Jan. 23, 2019 that many changes are being considered in the near future, according to the Military Times.
The topic of requiring women to register for a future draft is a very heated discussion.
A new proposal could require women to register for the draft https://t.co/mQA3oBdVRx
— Task & Purpose (@TaskandPurpose) January 24, 2019
The main function of the commission was to craft several proposals designed to increase national service prospects for both male and female Americans.
Some of the suggestions under consideration are increasing high school volunteer opportunities, making it easier to apply for federal jobs, enhancing marketing to better attract and recognize military applicants.
Co-chairman Mark Gearan, who served as director of the Peace Corps during the Clinton administration, said, “Civic education is front and center to this. Hence, the committee also will make recommendations on how the nation can “reinvigorate civic education.”
Commission Chairman Joe Heck, a former Nevada congressman who served in Iraq with the Army, said, “As Americans, we are ready to defend our country as needed. But for some of our younger Americans, the draft is just something you hear discussed on TV … There is no widely held expectation for service in our country today, and we need to look at that.”
Heck said that young people “overwhelmingly want to serve, they just don’t want to be told to do it.”
The current law requires any male between 18 and 26 to register for a draft if the U.S. falls upon a national emergency, which has not happened in the past 40 years.
As the role of women grows in the military, some suggest that women also be included in any future military drafts, while others argue against it. The dilemma has impeded a decision.
“We want to hear from the American public. What I can tell you, though, as we’ve gone around the country, people have an opinion [on women registering for Selective Service]. There aren’t that many people sitting on the fence. … They either say it’s a matter of equality, or they shouldn’t [register] because women hold a special place in U.S. society,” Heck said.