Proposed legislation would require women to register for potential draft

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 6:10 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - The Senate Armed Services Committee voted 23-2 to approve legislation that would, if enacted, require women to register for Selective Service to potentially be drafted in the military.

Following the Vietnam War and opposition to the draft, the U.S. established an all-volunteer military force.

But even though there is no draft, most men are still required to register with the military Selective Service when they turn 18-years-old in case the draft becomes necessary again.

Now, legislation is proposing to remove any reference of “male” to include women.

“I honestly think that the draft would be a good thing for women. We’ve been fighting for equal rights since the 1920s. It’s time for women to embrace that right of us being equal to men,” Mariah Hays said.

Hays served in the Marine Corp for four years as an Aviation Supply Specialist Corporal. She said she supports the idea of women being required to register for selective service, but she said it would be important for anyone drafted to be screened to make sure they’re placed in the right branch with the right job.

“You can’t expect someone who’s never run a day in their life to be able to jump right into a 4 to 8 shift and non-stop training and boot camp,” Hays said. “There needs to be screenings that are tailored to the female body and make those requirements that the body can tolerate. There are regulations right now.”

She added there is a greater need for jobs to be filled aside from combat.

“There’s cooks, there’s doctors, accountants, or their version of accountant, aviation supply, which is what I was in, and there’s a lot more, so it’s not just combat. There’s a bunch of jobs that need to be filled,” Hays explained.

Hays said being in the military taught her a lot and she thinks it could be a healthy preparation for the U.S.

If the legislation survives, the measure would go into effect one year after the new law was enacted.

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