From the offices of retired U.S. Navy SEAL Commander Rep. Ryan Zinke and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Rep. Duncan Hunter, an announcement has been made that they have formally introduced legislation in Congress to require women to register for the draft.
Many headlines have been made about current military commanders endorsing the idea, but these two lawmakers have actually taken a step forward to do something about it.
Read the statement from Congress below:
(CONGRESS) February 4, 2016 —Today, retired U.S. Navy SEAL Commander Rep. Ryan Zinke (MT) and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA) introduced legislation to require women to register for the draft. The Draft America’s Daughters Act, requires registration for women no later than 90 days after the enactment of the measure or 90 days after the Secretary of Defense opens all combat specialties. The combat veterans introduced the legislation after a House Armed Services Committee hearing where leaders of the Marine Corps and the Army made statements that women should register for the draft.
Zinke, who served 23 years as a U.S. Navy SEAL and was the Commander of Joint Special Forces in Iraq, said: “I know women play an invaluable role in war. My daughter was a damn good Navy Diver. Many times women can gain access to strategic sites that men never could. However, this Administration’s plan to force all front-line combat positions and Special Forces to integrate women into their units is reckless and dangerous. The decision was made by the Administration against the advice of the U.S. Marine Corps and Special Forces. The natural conclusion of that policy is that this opens young women up to the draft. This is a very important issue that touches the heart of American family, and I believe we need to have an open and honest discussion about it.”
“It’s wrong and irresponsible to make wholesale changes to the way America fights its wars without the American people having a say on whether their daughters and sisters will be on the front lines of combat,” said Hunter. “If this Administration wants to send 18-20 year old women into combat, to serve and fight on the front lines, then the American people deserve to have this discussion through their elected representatives. 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. This discussion should have occurred before decision making of any type, but the fact that it didn’t now compels Congress to take an honest and thorough look at the issue.”