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Should Women Be Required To Sign Up For The Draft?

Sgt. Jarrod Simmons speaks to his squad of Marines before they head out on a training march with 55-pound packs on Feb. 22, 2013 at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Scott Olson Getty Images
Sgt. Jarrod Simmons speaks to his squad of Marines before they head out on a training march with 55-pound packs on Feb. 22, 2013 at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Should Women Be Required To Sign Up For The Draft?
Should Women Be Required To Sign Up For The Draft? GUESTS:Col. Jane Siegel, former chief defense counsel, Marine Corps Ana Phillips, U.S. Navy veteran Derek Abbey, coordinator, Veterans Student Services, University of San Diego

Business KPBS Midday Edition Maureen Cavanaugh. San Diego Congressman Duncan Hunter is introducing legislation that he says he will most likely vote against. The bill he cosponsored with mandate and young women registered for selected service in the same way you have to. Hunter has reportedly introduce legislation to force congressional debate on opening up combat roles for women in the military a position of Republican lawmakers of support. There are no mixed messages and calls from Pentagon leaders and others that is indeed maybe time that women of us in the Sage investment in signing up for what might become a draft. We reach out to Congressman Duncan Hunter organization to discuss his bill for our San Diego audience but nobody responded to our request. Joining me first is: LJ Siegel she's furnishing defense counsel for the recourse you are private defense practice and teaches at the adjunct professor at Thomas Jefferson school of law. Colonel. Siegel , welcome to the program. Now you join the military at the end of the Vietnam war when it actually draft with the place. Here I know how that worked for young men who were called off? Of course they had to register for the draft and then as additional personnel chimps were required, for the war, these men will go to basic school and kind of line up for the uniforms, and get medical checkups, and off they went to training camp. Now most people Colonel. Siegel are thinking or linking the decision to allow women in combat roles to the push to get women to register with the selected service. The state applicable No. Tell us why. When there was a draft in my opinion, we did not have as capable a force, uniformly across the armed services NBC do now with an all volunteer force. I think this women signoff for the draft, I think it's a great idea, it's the draft it makes certain sense to me. But let's assume that a bulk of registered women were brought in, it doesn't change the number of women that would actually qualify for these newly opened or allegedly opened ground combat roles. So you allegedly opened you don't think they are actually open to women? Well, I spent 24 years with the Marine Corps and I will tell you that we'll rinds very slowly. The Marine Corps is like on their study of the effect, overall, combat readiness, women and have yet to, although it had some women in advanced infantry training and one other two of them actually graduated, they are not serving in ground combat positions because the Marine Corps still studying. Hunter said he had introduced the bill which is called draft of air daughters act, he is introduced as though to have Congress actually get in on this discussion. You think that's a good thing? Well, I don't think it makes any sense nor do I think it's particularly professional for a Congressman to introduce a bill he does not believe in to start a discussion whose final vote he would not agree with. What sense does that make? If you want to have an educated discussion, then why doesn't he just, you know, have some university professors as military might get together, and discuss it and it should not include women, which often it doesn't. I was speaking with Colonel. Siegel . Thank you for your time. No problem and thank you for contacting me. Have a good day. Joining me now is in. She's the US Navy veteran and a student at Eagle University majoring in philosophy. I will come to the program. Very happy his retirement Marine major and are interested in services coordinator at University of San Diego. There, welcome to her. Last week when Defense Secretary Ash Carter was in San Diego, a the Mallory asked him about women in the draft, which he first took office is used for what he had to say about women in the military. For us to have the best in the future, I think you are, we need to be able to reach into the largest pool of people we can and women make up half of our country. They have to be qualified, identity standards but I want to appeal to reach in all parts of our population. I call it the military could not get the force stressed the need for volunteers, you think women should be mandated to join the military at least up for the draft in the same way that men are? Yes combat. I think it comes down to personal responsibility. Men do not register between the ages of 18 to 25, I believe up to 26, they had real legal consequences such as serving possibly five years in jail or $250,000 fine. They can be disqualified for financially, sit alone grants. That the single sign-on for selected print even this is legal draft. Right. I don't understand why women would read a lot of these benefits are not have consequences for not functioning or not filling in the responsibilities that males airmail peers are required to pick Using that a draft is a good idea for either men or women? I personally would, I searched for some years, I would rather serve with people who want to be there, want to serve. I think they would agree with me that morale is it part of unit cohesion, so you want to insert with people who want to be there. They understand the mission, they are committed to the mission. But ultimately, I do think that it should, I mean, it's possible that it will be necessary at some point. There, attitudes about probable for many women have to be changed over the last generation and I'm wondering what your feeling is about how military service should reflect? I have two witnesses firsthand in the record I have served with females and had unit that had not, I think the rules and regulations of the established for women in the military don't selling, hence necessarily set them up for success as far as different standards. I think that's something that they're definitely going to have to face in the future with opening up of combat roles in all roles to the females in the military. Mission accomplished is number one and then we set up one group to meet one set of standards and another group with a different set of standards, then this were to be some friction that the established there. Especially when comes to two sets of people that are supposedly moving forward to a common mission so that they shall should have to face it your combat veteran, you were in the service between 1991 in 2014, so you silently changes taking place. How does the military adapt to these changes. You told us about the two different standards, did you see that change? Yes. I was in the Marine Corps and the physical standards, the primary standards is having the physical capacity to perform certain missions in the women's physical standards have changed while I was there anything more stringent, tries to make them on par or similar to the male Marines. It's still different, requirements are for females and I think as you look at combat roles in the number of studies that the Marine Corps have not specifically to see how women perform in these roles, especially their primary job or primary MOS, how it will be able to perform particularly over the role Ron over deployment for over a year. If you're not sitting in the same, you're going to set up for failure. Being called up for service as potentially you would be in a draft situation, does not necessarily mean going into combat. They also learned about how the military trying to get the right people in the right jobs? What your experience. My own personal experience while there is a volunteer sobriety and I wanted to be hospital corpsmen which is a noncombatant job in the medical job. I first wanted to go to the Marine Corps and medical job. Well I can to find out that the record does not have a medical department. Therefore I ended up going to the Navy recorder, tested Internet job, they brought me a contract for something called CS, and it's basically a unit chef. I do not want to do that, I will not sign a contract. Again coming from the perspective of a volunteer. I I don't know what the situation was at that time about finding aptitude for specific people for certain jobs. Derek, I guess the question is whether or not women are ready for combat and of course, the military branch has said that they are. Do you think America is ready for Daniel women taking part in a military draft I disagree with Colonel. Siegel, I think the reason the commerce ministry for this deal is specifically because of new regulations opening all jobs to females. Whether he's right in doing so and just get a conversation or not is another question but I definitely think they are related. Now as was mentioned earlier, when the draft was implemented, it was used primarily to fill a lot of the needs of the service which were those combat arms. Now whether that will be the same in the future I'm not sure. However, I personally don't think right now that if we did over the draft of the issues that draft that our society is ready to face sending 50% of the of those that are submitted for the draft to be the female part of the group to be female. I think it's culturally now, we are really not ready for that. And free quality I would agree, that is all the jobs are open in the military, to the female, just like the obesity myth, I think they should be part of the draft as equal base but I still don't think our society is quite ready for them. Let me take your take on that and I'm not talking about requirements here because one would assume that someone was called up for the draft the military would make sure that the person male or female was physically able to undertake that role. I needed necessarily to say that every woman who was drafted, would have to go into combat role. Just as an overall notion of what America is ready for combat duty I agree with that. If you want everything to be equal have these opportunities for these jobs in the military, that we should have people, have this requirement for women. However, what America as a society or culturally ready for, I would have to say that I don't think that response of the American people would be very, which take it well. Do you think they're making some of the service it will be mandatory for both men and women will get the nation thinking differently about the draft in general? One would imagine that Harris treasure their sons as much as they treasure their daughters and we open up the question of a military draft? That's a really good question. I don't think that society really things too often about a draft because it's been for decades since we had to use one and have a strong military right now although our military is very different. I don't think that our society looks at the draft favorably and I think they would use it very sparingly. However, I think that if you're going to make a decision around something like this, we have to make the decision of thinking that if we use it, how will it be used and how might we think about that in the future. It's not a popular subject in something that we should definitely have a discussion about we as a society if we are going to make changes to it. The I remember during the war that has been some mention about opening up a draft so perhaps military service would be more evenly spread out over all sections of American society would to young people. Again I want to go back to your first answer and that was you say that you feel more comfortable serving with people who really want to be there. Yes Dick Do you think that would change if either men or women were subject to the draft? Assuming that the flagellation were to pass, now we have a 50-50 male-female draft, I think it's human nature, people don't typically don't like to do things they don't want to do. So women, a woman doesn't want to be there is any worse of a monkey wrench in the system than a man who doesn't want to be there. Were going to have to end it on here. I've been speaking with Jane Siegel, and their copy editor and student services coordinator at the University of San Diego. Thank you both very much.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, introduced the Draft America's Daughters Act on Thursday that would require women to register with the Selective Service.

But Hunter said in a statement that he does not support the legislation. Instead, he would use it to force a debate on opening combat roles to women, which he does not support.


“The Administration made its decision to open all combat specialties without regard for the research and perspective of the Marine Corps and special operations community, or without consideration or care for whether the draft would have to be opened to both men and women," he said in a statement.

Hunter's office did not respond to a request for comment.

Col. Jane Siegel, former chief defense counsel for the Marine Corps, told KPBS Midday Edition Hunter's move doesn't make sense.

"If he wants to have an educated discussion, then why doesn't he have some university professors and military minds get together and discuss it?" she said. "And it should include women, which often it doesn't."

Siegel said women signing up for the draft is "a great idea," but said the move likely wouldn't change the number of women who would qualify for ground combat roles. She said while women have been in training, they aren't serving in ground combat positions and likely won't for some time.


"I spent 24 years in the Marine Corps, and I will tell you that that wheel grinds very slowly," she said.

Ana Phillips, a Navy veteran who is now a philosophy student at San Diego State University, said she would not want to serve with men or women who've been drafted because they wouldn't really want to be there.

"I would rather serve with people who want to be there," she said. "Morale is a big part of unit cohesion, so you want to serve with people who understand the mission and have committed to the mission."

But if a draft were necessary, Phillips said she thinks women should be required to sign up.

Derek Abbey, the Veterans Student Services coordinator for the University of San Diego, said the military hasn't set up women for success by giving them different physical fitness standards to meet than men.

"When you set up one group to meet one set of standards and another group with a different set of standards, there's going to be some friction established there," he said.