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Will Women Soon Be Subject to the Draft?

draft women

By Debbie Gregory.

Rep. Duncan Hunter’s attempt to take a stand against women in combat backfired.

Hunter (R-CA), who is against integrating combat forces, proposed opening up the Selective Service to include women. “This is about a big war, meaning when you have tens of thousands of people dying — tens of thousands — that is when you have a draft,” he said. But he also vowed to vote against his own proposal.

Last December, the Defense Department decided to open all remaining gender-segregated combat jobs — about 225,000 — to female troops.

Selective Service law as it is currently written now refers specifically to “male persons” in stating who must register and who would be drafted. For women to be required to register with Selective Service, Congress would have to amend the law.

The proposal garnered enough support for female integration that members of the House Armed Services Committee voted in favor of opening the Selective Service and the draft.

The Selective Service measure is now part of the annual National Defense Authorization Act. If passed by Congress, for the first time in our nation’s history, women aged 18-26 would be required to register for the draft,  and could be forced into combat.

The U.S. came close to drafting women during World War II, when there was a shortage of military nurses. However, there was a surge of volunteerism and a draft of women nurses was not needed.

“I actually support your amendment and will be delighted to vote for it,” said Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA). “If we want equality in this country, we want women to be treated precisely like men are treated and that they should not be discriminated against, we should be willing to support a universal conscription,” she added.

Retired Navy SEAL Rep. Ryan Zinke, (R-MT) and Hunter have been trying to build opposition to female integration since they introduced the Draft America’s Daughters Act, a bill that is the same as the amendment.

But political momentum appears to be building behind integration and changes to the draft system.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Lawmaker Calls for Mabus’ Resignation : Military Connection

Mabus

By Debbie Gregory.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee and Marine Corps veteran, is demanding the resignation of the Navy’s secretary for his plans to open Marine Corps infantry positions to women.

A lengthy Marine Corps experiment involving about 300 men and 100 women who volunteered as research subjects found that all-male units performed significantly better than mixed-gender ones on 69 percent of tactical tests. The task force on gender integration also found that women were injured more than twice as often as men, according to a brief summary of results released by the Corps.

Regardless, Secretary Ray Mabus announced he intends to open Marine infantry, Navy SEALs, and all other combat jobs in the Navy to the new gender-neutral employment policy in the Defense Department.

The Marine Corps is expected to ask that women not be allowed to compete for several front-line combat jobs, military officials said.

The report acknowledged that “female Marines have performed superbly in the combat environments of Iraq and Afghanistan and are fully part of the fabric of a combat-hardened Marine Corps after the longest period of continuous combat operations in the Corps’ history.”

Gen. Joseph Dunford, the Marine commandant, is weighing the task-force findings as well as related research on entry-level training courses, the opening of 12 occupations to women and the addition of female support staff to some ground-combat units.

Military women who support the end of all gender restrictions for employment praised Mabus for what they described as his leadership and acumen at gauging weaknesses in the Marine Corps research.

The services have been slowly integrating women into previously male-only roles, including as Army artillery officers and sailors on Navy submarines. Adding to the debate was the groundbreaking graduation last month of Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver, the first two women to female soldiers to complete their courses at the Army’s exhausting Ranger School.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Military Connection: USAF to Open All Jobs to Women: By Debbie Gregory

Women in the AF

The U.S. Air Force is looking to open direct-combat related occupations to female airmen by spring, 2016.

The Secretary of the Air Force, Deborah Lee James, recently announced that she intends to open seven Air Force occupation specialties to women. Sec. James said that the Air Force is in the process of developing gender-neutral standards for the positions. Once these policies can be established, the spots will be open to anyone who is qualified to fill them.

There are only seven Air Force jobs that are currently closed to female airmen. These occupations include: combat control team, combat rescue officer, pararescue, special operation weather (officer and enlisted), special tactics officer, and tactical air control party (TACP). TACPs make up a critical combat occupation specialty, where airmen are assigned to infantry units to coordinate in-close air support from USAF aircraft against enemy targets.

Secretary James’ plan will bring the Air Force in line with the other service branches as to what they are doing to open combat jobs to women.

Back in January, 2013, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered all service branches to open all combat jobs to female service members by 2016, or explain why any must remain closed. The Pentagon lifted its ban on women serving in such roles in 2012, but gave the services time to integrate female troops into the male-only, front-line positions.

Currently, women make up about 15% of the U.S. military’s 1.3 million active-duty service members.

In similar efforts, the Navy began allowing female officers to serve on submarines as early as 2010, but has yet to formulate a plan to integrate women into its Basic Underwater Demolition school programs, which includes the Navy SEALs.

The Marine Corps began allowing women to take the Infantry Officer Course, however, no female officers have yet to pass the demanding 13-week program.

In September, the Army announced that it is considering admitting females into their elite Ranger School.

One of the big hang-ups for women moving into the most elite combat roles is that the military will not lower any standards for women. Women are expected to perform at the same standards as men in order to qualify. The Marine Infantry Officer Course is the best example of this. Nearly everyone in uniform agrees that standards need to remain strict. But most people agree, if any service member can qualify for a position, they deserve to work in billets for that occupation.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: USAF to Open All Jobs to Women: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Females with Ranger Tabs? By Debbie Gregory

Female RangersWhile opportunities in all branches of the armed forces are less abundant than they were just a few years ago, there is one population that appears to be in high demand for military officials. The Army could be looking for female volunteers to attend Ranger school.

Last week, Secretary for the U.S. Department of the Navy, Ray Mabus, voiced his desire to see more females in Navy and Marine Corps uniforms. Now it seems that senior Army leaders might be looking for female soldiers to participate in a one-time opportunity to attend the elite Army Ranger training.

The invitation is part of the military-wide effort to assess how to open combat-oriented occupational specialties to women. The Army is expected to decide in January if it wants to proceed with its experiment of an integrated Ranger school. If the Army does move forward, it would more than likely happen in Spring, 2015.  At that point, the Army will need female volunteers already in place and ready for Ranger school.

As part of this potential experiment, the Army is looking for two groups of volunteers, as outlined in two separate All-Army Activity messages.The Army is seeking female soldiers in ranks E-4 through O-4 who would be interested in attending Ranger school as students. All applicants must meet the same prerequisites and physical qualifications that males are held to in order to attend Ranger school.

Any female soldier who volunteers and manages to successfully complete and graduate from Ranger school will receive a graduation certificate, and be awarded and authorized to wear the Ranger tab.

However, women who graduate Ranger school may or may not be permitted to receive the associated Ranger skill identifiers, or be assigned to Ranger coded units or positions, pending future decisions about whether women will be allowed to serve in combat arms MOSs.

Female soldiers can also volunteer to serve as observers and advisers to the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade. These slots are open to enlisted personnel E-6 through E-8 and officers in paygrades of CWO 2-3 and O-2 through O-4. Volunteers for this assignment will not be Ranger instructors, and they will not evaluate students in the course.

Selection packets for both groups are due by October 10, 2014. Interested soldiers should work with their personnel officers and chain of command to submit their applications.

Applicants should be able to find out the results of their applications in December.

The Army has not yet determined how many volunteers it needs, part of the open-call is also is to determine the level of interest among female soldiers.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Females with Ranger Tabs? By Debbie Gregory