If a commission's recommendation is accepted, young women will have to register for the draft when they turn 18, just like their male counterparts. After a three-year study into whether women should be eligible for the draft, the panel has decided they should, reports Politico. The outlet got the first look at the commission's report to the Pentagon. "This is a necessary and fair step, making it possible to draw on the talent of a unified Nation in a time of national emergency," the 11 commissioners write. It next goes to the White House and to congressional staffers, and it would be up to lawmakers to change the law if they wish.
Forced conscription was abolished in 1973, notes the Military Times, but men are still required to register. In addition to the commission's report, the matter is being addressed in the courts as well. A federal appeals court is currently weighing whether a male-only draft registration is constitutional. About 224,000 women currently serve in the armed forces, notes Politico. And thanks to a Pentagon move five years ago, they can serve in combat roles. (The Green Berets will soon have its first female member.)