Give Women All The Rights Of Citizenship, Including Selective Service

Community
U.S. Army photo by Capt. Richard Packer,

At a recent Republican debate, Ted Cruz said that it would be “immoral” to draft our daughters. He went on to make it very personal saying, “I’m the father of two little girls, and I love those girls with all of my heart.” When I heard his comments my immediate response was, “Well I have two sons whom I love with all my heart.”


Like Cruz, I don’t want to see my children drafted and forced into“a foxhole with a 220-pound psychopath trying to kill them.” Who would ever want that for their children — sons or daughters? But why should Cruz’s children get a pass on defending this country while mine don’t?

As with most of the debate currently swirling around this topic, it is grounded in tradition — the way things have always been — and according to Cruz is simply “common sense.” But what, exactly, is it about cutting off access to half of our population during a national crisis that makes sense? Aren’t Cruz’s daughters just as valuable to our national security as my sons?

All of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship are not, and should never be, the sole purview of men. As citizens of this country, women are just as vested in the security and defense of their homes and should be equally responsible for shouldering the burden of their own security. Exempting, indeed forbidding, half the population from sharing in those demands is illogical and violates principles of citizenship enshrined in our Constitution.

Related: The United States still needs draft registration »

On Feb. 4, two Republican combat veterans, representatives Duncan Hunter and Ryan Zinke, both vocal opponents of women’s integration into combat positions, introduced the Draft America's Daughters Act. This act would require women to register for Selective Service. These two congressmen aren’t trying to advance the citizenship status of women or tap into the resources of half the population; instead, they’re hoping to garner resistance to opening combat jobs to servicewomen by invoking emotional responses to the specter of women being drafted.

A key element that all of these discussions is ignoring is that our daughters are already serving in combat. Since 1993, women have been allowed to fight offensively in the air and at sea. In the Army and Marine Corps, women fly attack and reconnaissance helicopters and they are fighter pilots in the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. Furthermore, women in the Army have been fighting on the ground in artillery, military police, and engineer units since 2001. And they haven’t always chosen these occupations. Women who graduate from West Point are assigned as artillery officers whether they want to be in the artillery or not.

Women aren’t afraid to serve in any capacity and many have sought out ground combat assignments. Moreover, well over 9,000 women in just the Army have received ground combat awards since Sept. 11. Women have already been in foxholes and our numbers, as a percentage of the total force, continue to rise. The recent decision to allow women to serve, without exception, in all ground combat occupations and units was an acknowledgement of this reality.

This is a no brainer for most citizens, including the heads of both the Army and the Marine Corps who said that women should have to register for Selective Service. The bottom line is that all citizens should be treated the same; either everyone registers or no one registers. Reducing this to an emotion based debate about putting our daughters in foxholes, as Cruz has done, isn’t helpful. The debate should be about whether we keep Selective Service in its current form and incorporate women, or if we re-conceptualize how it might more effectively serve the country moving forward.

Regardless of what happens there should be no difference in how any group of capable citizens is leveraged in service to the nation.

(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton

At least four American veterans were among a group of eight men arrested by police in Haiti earlier this week for driving without license plates and possessing an arsenal of weaponry and tactical gear.

Police in Port-au-Prince arrested five Americans, two Serbians, and one Haitian man at a police checkpoint on Sunday, according to The Miami-Herald. The men told police they were on a "government mission" but did not specify for which government, according to The Herald.

They also told police that "their boss was going to call their boss," implying that someone high in Haiti's government would vouch for them and secure their release, Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles told NPR.

What they were actually doing or who they were potentially working for remains unclear. A State Department spokesperson told Task & Purpose they were aware that Haitian police arrested a "group of individuals, including some U.S. citizens," but declined to answer whether the men were employed by or operating under contract with the U.S. government.

Read More Show Less
Heckler & Koch's first batch of M27 Infantry Automatic Rifles

Have you ever wondered what would happen if the employee behind a firearm company's Facebook page decided to goaded a bunch of Marines into destroying their brand new firearms? Now you know.

Read More Show Less

A top Senate Republican and fierce ally of President Donald Trump reportedly exploded at Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan recently about the U.S. military's plans to withdraw all troops from Syria by the end of April.

"That's the dumbest f******g idea I've ever heard," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reportedly replied when Shanahan confirmed the Trump administration still plans to complete the Syria withdrawal by April 30.

Later, Graham told Shanahan, "I am now your adversary, not your friend."

Read More Show Less
Members of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, and 1st Transportation Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, prepare a seven-ton Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTRV) to be lifted by a CH-53E Super Stallion at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., on Jan. 16, 2019. (U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Clare J. McIntire)

Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

If you are in the market for any size of military surplus vehicle, keep an eye on GovPlanet. The online auction house is about to start selling U.S. Navy and Marine Corps surplus M1161 ITV Growlers and seven-ton Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement trucks.

Read More Show Less
Airmen with the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron pump water from a flooded common living area to an area with less impact on the local population, Dec. 13, 2009, in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force/ Staff Sgt. Sharon Singer)

The definition of insanity, the old saying goes, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result — a definition that applies perfectly to the Trump administration's response to the looming national security threat of global climate change.

Read More Show Less