Women will have to register with the Selective Service and would be eligible to be drafted in the military, under a provision narrowly approved by a House panel on Wednesday.
The proposal passed the House Armed Services Committee without support from its sponsor, Iraq War veteran Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who introduced the measure as a way to force the Congressional conversation about the role of women in the military.
But several Republicans broke ranks with their committee counterparts to support the idea of drafting women for military service, until now a possibility solely reserved for men.
Others disagreed, including Nevada’s Rep. Joe Heck, New York Rep. Chris Gibson and Arizona Rep. Martha McSally, fellow Republicans and Iraq War veterans. McSally argued that if a draft was needed, women could serve any number of military roles, including but not exclusive to infantry jobs.
The vote came the same day Army officials announced that Capt. Kristen Griest, one of the first women to earn a Ranger tab, will become the Army’s first female infantry officer.
Defense Department leaders have already backed the idea of adding women to the draft while also emphasizing they do not see any scenario where a draft will actually happen. No Americans have been pressed into involuntary military service since the last draft ended in 1973.
Read More: Military Times
Featured Image – Pfc. Christina Fuentes Montenegro is pictured Nov. 15, 2013, during the Infantry Integrated Field Training Exercise aboard Camp Geiger, N.C. She was one of three female Marines to be the first women to graduate infantry training. Chief Warrant Officer 2 Paul S. Mancuso//Marine Corps