Commission offers no final answer on women in draft

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Congressional Committee Debates if Women Should be Included in Draft

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A commission formed by Congress in 2016 to answer questions about the military draft said Wednesday it can’t yet say whether women should be required to register for the draft along with men.

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The National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service released its interim report online Wednesday and discussed its findings in a press conference at the Newseum in Washington, DC.

"(The National Commission on Service) is still considering adding women to the Selective Service roles for a possible draft, but no final recommendation yet," tweeted Leo Shane III, a Military Times editor who attended the press conference.

The commission is also looking to answer how to get more people, men or women, to participate in public service. Its ideas to do so include creating more local volunteer opportunities in high school, simplifying the process for applying to federal jobs, better promoting federal service organizations like the Peace Corps and using the Selective Service System to better identify recruits for the military, according to the Military Times.

Under current law, all male U.S. citizens between 18 and 25 years of age are required to register with the Selective Service within 30 days of their 18th birthday, according to the Selective Service System website.

Lawmakers created the commission in 2016 after the House refused to approve a Senate proposal to expand the draft to women, USA Today reported. The 11-member bipartisan commission researched the selective service by soliciting comments online and by traveling the country and holding a series of public meetings, according to its website.

The commission’s conclusions are only advisory; whether to implement them would be up to the president and Congress.

"Personally, I don't think we will remain with the status quo," commission Chairman Joe Heck told USA Today regarding women and the draft. "But where we end up on the spectrum is yet to be determined."

The commission will continue to seek public comment through March 2020. More information can be found at the commission's website, https://www.inspire2serve.gov/.

The entire interim report can be found here.

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