BY SISI ROOSE
On July 21 the Senate Armed Services Committee approved legislation that we consider unacceptable because it would amend the Military Selective Service Act (MSSA) to require young women to register with Selective Service for a possible future draft.
We believe this legislation is not only unacceptable but also unnecessary for three reasons. First of all, there are enough male citizens in the United States to more than double the U.S. Armed Forces. Secondly, data overwhelmingly shows that the most effective units are male units, not coed units. And third, subjecting women to the same draft as men does not promote equality.
Before we go further you should know that two of my close female friends serve in the military. I am beyond proud of them and grateful for their service. I realize that they willingly and regularly put themselves through things that I never want to experience so that they are effectively equipped to protect my freedom. This is their voluntary choice.
In my opinion, they are nothing short of inspiring.
That being said, there is a significant difference between appreciating the service of my female friends who voluntarily joined the military and requiring women to join the military. With the rest of this post I hope to clarify why our nation is better served by rejecting this amendment requiring women to register for the draft.
America Has Enough Able-Bodied Men to Fill a Draft
According to the Family Research Council America has enough able-bodied men to double the size of our Armed Forces by requiring only 2.5% of the male population to serve.
“If our armed services needed to be more than doubled to five million (and we maintained the current 16.5 percent of service members who are female), that would only require roughly 2.5 percent of the male population to serve. Since approximately 1.1 percent of the male population is currently serving, this means that only an additional 1.4 percent would be needed.”
One of the most significant reasons that women should not be required to enlist ahead of able-bodied men is that it slows down the drafting process when we need able-bodies the most.
According to a letter called Special Message To The 117th Congress: Don’t Draft Our Daughters that Wisconsin Family Action president, Julaine Appling, signed, the U.S. Supreme Court, “has recognized, the purpose of a draft is not to fill various noncombat billets, it is to quickly provide qualified replacements for combat casualties.”
In other words, a draft is initiated to quickly put capable bodies on the battlefield. Data shows that requiring women to register for the draft would actually slow down the drafting process; therefore, coming in direct conflict with the purpose of a draft.
A study conducted by Naval Health Research found that most men can pass the combat arms standards while most women can’t. In this same letter Carrie Lukas and Jennifer C. Braceras pointed out that this natural difference between men and women would severely and detrimentally slow the drafting process.
“‘Gender-neutral’ call-ups of both men and women would jam the induction pipeline and slow mobilization at the worst possible time – when our soldiers are fighting and dying on the battlefield.”
In the end, drafting women is unnecessary. The United States has enough able-bodied male citizens to more than double our armed forces while only calling on 2.5% of the male population. Furthermore, drafting women would be a time-consuming detriment to our national security and those already on the front lines.
Male Units are the Most Effective Units
In Women Should Not Be Drafted into Selective Service Family Research Council reported on a study performed by the U.S. Marine Corps from April 2012 through August 2015 to test the hypothesis that men and women could perform equally well in all-male and co-ed units. Of the participants in this test, the men had average capabilities, while the women were above-average graduates of infantry training.
FRC’s summary of the collected data explained that all-male teams outperformed co-ed units in 69 percent of ground combat tasks and sex-related physical differences negatively affected co-ed units’ performance.
“In tasks resembling requirements of infantry, armor, and artillery units, all-male teams outperformed co-ed units in 69 percent of ground combat tasks. … Sex-related physical differences negatively affected co-ed units’ speed and effectiveness in simulated battle tasks, including marching under heavy loads, casualty evacuations, and marksmanship.”
Besides having lower performance, coed units also require accommodations that are not needed for an all-male unit. Mary Beth Waddell, J.D., writing for Family Research Council, said that these concerns take away from the Armed Forces singular focus needed on the battlefield.
“Co-ed units would either require special privacy concerns to be accommodated in the most austere of circumstances or sacrifice the privacy needs of servicemen and women. In addition, coed units can contribute to increased levels of sexual trauma and rape. These considerations hinder the singular focus that is needed on the battlefield to defeat the enemy.”
If the goal of the United States Armed Forces is to effectively defend and protect the freedom and rights of the American people on the battlefield drafting women compromises that goal.
Drafting Women Does not Establish Equality
The government’s attempt at promoting equality by requiring women to register for the draft is anything but that. Research shows that because so many women do not naturally meet the physical standards required such tests are “dumbed-down.”
“Officials have adjusted test requirements and scoring systems to reduce initial failure rates (84% for women, 30% for men), but equivocal ‘percentile’ scoring systems still will not disguise immutable physical disparities that the battlefield will expose without mercy.”
In other words, when the lives of women and those they serve alongside as well as our freedoms are on the line is not the time to blur readiness standards. A scoring system may make allowances but carrying a 45-pound ruck-sack through the desert and facing enemy fire will offer no leniency.
Equality is not achieved by creating two sets of standards.
Furthermore, Lukas and Braceras point out that requiring women to register for draft is not “equal” because “women in uniform suffer unequal rates of health problems, including infertility and higher risks of suicide.”
A woman’s equality and worth are not established by subjecting her to the same draft as men, instead, it places women, the individuals they serve alongside and our freedoms in greater danger.
What This Means for YOU
In conclusion we want to re-iterate that we are grateful and inspired by the patriotic women who sacrifice so much to protect the values we hold dear. However, voluntary service is quite different from required service which would compromise the effectiveness of our armed forces.
Throughout every national emergency women have been quick to volunteer and support our armed forces. Why would we assume that women would not do so again by requiring them to register for the draft?
Moving forward it is critically important that we, as citizens, do these three things:
- Stay informed. If we do not know what legislation is proposed we will not be able to tell our representatives what we do and do not want. Furthermore, if we do not stay informed with the way our representatives vote, we will not be able to elect representatives who serve us well.
- Communicate your desires. Staying informed empowers us to advocate for what we do and do not want. Call, email or visit your legislator; let them know what issues you care about and how you hope they will vote on them.
- Raise engaged daughters. There are countless stories in the Bible of women who diligently sought God, were full of courage and stood up for what they believed in. Their actions powerfully and positively impacted the lives of many. They weren’t drafted into the military, but that didn’t stop them from protecting and providing for what they valued. Those are the kinds of daughters we need!
We are thankful for organizations like Family Research Council and Independent Women’s Forum for their thorough research and communication. You can support further educational materials created by Wisconsin Family Action and Wisconsin Family Council by investing HERE.