Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Draft for Women?

    The next time Uncle Sam says “I want you,” he could be talking to women too.

    When U.S. military leaders made the decision to lift the military’s ban on women two months ago, opportunities for front line positions as well as possible elite commando jobs opened up.

    Some were happy with this decision, saying that women deserved this opportunity since they have been an increasingly integral part of the military.

    President Barack Obama supports women in combat, saying it is a matter of fairness and equal opportunity.

    “This milestone reflects the courageous and patriotic service of women through more than two centuries of American history and the indispensable role of women in today’s military,” said Obama.

    Others disagree with letting women serve on the front lines, saying that even though they have this opportunity, it doesn’t mean they will have what it takes to be soldiers.

    However, the ban for women in combat is lifted, and this opens up a new debate: should women be drafted into the military?

    By law, all U.S. male citizens ages 18 to 25 years old are required to register with the Selective Service System. They can do so online or through mail. Failure to do so can result in being charged with a felony.

    Women have previously been excluded from drafts, but with the change in women’s role in the military, this could change.

    “Once you allow women into combat, you are then essentially ordering all women to fight,” said Executive Director of the Center for Military Readiness Tommy Sears to FOX news.

    This seems logical to supporters for women in combat, like senior Morgan Mushlitz, an MS4 Cadet who thinks women should be drafted alongside men.

    “If we were to have a draft some point in the future, I don’t see why women wouldn’t be involved in that or considered… They are eligible for the same roles [as men] so there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be considered for a draft if we were to have one,” said Mushlitz.

    Opponents to a draft for women are concerned about physical capabilities and realities of war.

    According to Mushlitz, however, she and the rest of the women in ROTC are treated the same as men.

    “We all go through land navigation, squad tactics, so we all do combat-related scenario training… There’s no difference in roles whether it gets assigned to a male or female. We all have to execute the same leadership positions and the same combat scenarios,” Mushlitz said. “We don’t view it as a gender specific issue, we view it as ‘What are your capabilities?’ or ‘What can you bring to the table?’”

    Some opponents say that having women in combat could weaken the military by shifting its standards. However, proponents say women should be drafted if they meet the same requirements as men and are able to.

    “They’re going to have to show that excluding women from the draft actually improves military readiness. I just don’t see how you can make that argument,” said former Air Force officer Diane Mazur to the Associated Press.

    According to Mushlitz, other concerns about engaging women in the military were about cohesion.

    “When women serve in combat, you require separate latrines. You require hygiene stations more frequently for sanitation and personal health for the soldier. A lot of that has to do with gender-specific needs, but those are things that we’re starting to face and understand those capabilities are more realistic now, that women can perform to similar standards to men,” Mushlitz said.

    Mushlitz also said she would love to serve if she were called for a draft.

    Though the debate continues, a draft is unlikely to occur soon. Uncle Sam may just have to wait.

    Bianca may be reached at [email protected]

    Leave a Comment
    More to Discover
    About the Contributor
    Bianca Sewake, Author

    Comments (0)

    All The Spectator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *