By Tricia Kang |Staff Writer|
Under the Senate defense bill, passed on November 1, women turning 18 on or after January 1, 2018, would be forced to register for Selective Service (SS), as men must do now.
“As a person who believes in equality, if I had to do it to then I would do it. Having no problem living in the U.S. as we want equal rights we should equality in both men and women including the military,” said Betzy Aceves, a CSUSB Cadet Company Commander.
Currently, U.S. law requires most male citizens and immigrants between the ages 18 to 25 to register in the SS system.
The failure to register could result in the loss of various forms of federal aid, pell grants, and other penalties.
Because the policy would not apply to women who turned 18 before 2018, it would not affect current aid arrangements.
Congress seek to expand SS requirements to include both genders and nearly opening all combat roles to women.
“As I have two daughters of my own, both in the U.S. Army…this new bill is forcibly sending them off to war. Just because they’re registered, doesn’t mean that they should be enlisted into war,” said Vietnam Veteran, Robert Powell.
The debate over women’s shifting role in the military probably won’t be over anytime soon.
The House of Representatives passed a version of the military bill, that does not include a requirement for women to register in the draft and the two chambers will need to reconcile the differences before they can pass a unified spending bill.
“The Senate overwhelmingly passed a $602 billion defense bill Tuesday that included an amendment that would require women to register for the draft also known as the [SS] for the first time in history.” according to CNN Politics.
The amendment extending the draft to women was put into the National Defense Authorization Act, a key piece of military funding legislation, which claim this is a milestone in women’s equality for the military.
“[I am] Having mixed feelings of forcing the next generation of young women that will be involuntary enlisted into [SS].” said student Victoria Padua a Military Service III.
Clinton told The Huffington Post that she insisted that she opposes actually enforcing the draft, “I am on record as supporting the all-volunteer military, which I think at this time does serve our country well..”
While the U.S. Defense Department officials have made clear it has no problem with requiring women to register for the draft, lawmakers in Congress appear bypass the issue in the upcoming battle over the defense policy bill.
The House and Senate negotiators plan to waive the Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act in supporting of the issues.