Senate Approves Bill That Requires Women to Register for Draft

Then U.S. Army First Lieutenant Kirsten Griest (C) and fellow soldiers participate in combatives training during the Ranger Course on Fort Benning, Georgia, in this handout photograph taken on April 20, 2015 and obtained on August 20, 2015. When Griest and another woman completed the daunting U.S. Army Ranger school this week they helped end questions about whether women can serve as combat leaders, as the Pentagon is poised to open new roles, including elite Navy SEALs, to women in coming months. The feat by Griest and First Lieutenant Shaye Haver followed a re-evaluation of the role of women after their frontline involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan and the end of a rule barring them from combat roles in 2013. REUTERS/Spc. Nikayla Shodeen/U.S. Army/Handout via Reuters

The Senate Armed Services Committee has approved language in its annual defense policy bill that would require women to register for the draft.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) approved by the committee behind closed doors Wednesday “amends the Military Selective Service Act to require the registration of women for Selective Service,” according to a summary released Thursday.

The United States has not instituted a draft since the Vietnam War, and Pentagon officials have repeatedly said they intend to keep the force all-volunteer.

But men ages 18 through 25 still have to register with what’s officially known as the Selective Service System or face consequences such as losing access to federal financial aid for college.

Congress has been debating whether to expand the registration requirement to women since all combat jobs were opened to female service members in 2016.

That year, both the House and Senate Armed Services committees included a requirement for women to register in their initial versions of the NDAA.

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SOURCE: The Hill, Rebecca Kheel

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