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Gillibrand: Women should register for draft

Julia Botero
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield on Monday as part of a tour of Fort Drum.


Women are now allowed to enter all combat roles in the military. Some top military brass say they believe all women should now be required to register for the draft, just like men are required to do within 30 days after they turn eighteen. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) says she’s okay with that.

The U.S. has had an all-volunteer Army for more than 40 years.

Gillibrand, who sits on the Armed Services Committee in Congress, said Monday her goal is to make sure it stays that way.

“We don’t need a draft today and we hopefully will never need a draft again. But if we do have one, yes, women should be eligible for Selective Service and it should be done on skill-sets and what types of missions all troops are assigned to,” Gillibrand said.

The issue came up in a Senate committee meeting last week, according to the New York Times. GOP presidential candidates were also asked their opinions on the matter last Saturday for the first time during a Republican primary debate. The Obama administration and Defense Secretary Ash Carter have yet to take an official position. Gillibrand said she strongly believes women who meet the standards should be allowed to serve in any position within the Army.

“We know we want all of our best and brightest. You want all of your most qualified to be serving in the highest position they are able, so I think it’s important that we continue to stress gender-neutral standards and we continue to have that conversation about Selected Service as well,” she said.

Since 1980, all men including immigrants without American citizenship are required to register with the Selective Service once they turn 18.