Virtually all U.S. male citizens and immigrant non-citizens are required to sign up for the Selective Service within 30 days of their 18th birthday.
This means that over 16 million adult males are currently signed up for conscription if it were necessary to implement a draft.
So, why aren’t women required to sign up for the Selective Service?
This is just the question that one Whatsgoodly user from UC Berkeley sought to answer in a recent poll.
A surprising 24% of respondents were unsure whether women should be required to enroll in the Selective Services, while 50% agreed and 26% disagreed.
Roughly 600 more males voted on this poll on the Whatsgoodly app than females. Perhaps that’s because young males feel more passionately about this issue, as it affects them quite directly.
Over 60% of males say women should be required to join
A vast majority of male respondents said that women should be required to join the Selective Service and thus be eligible for future Drafts.
Only 26% of females say women should be required to join
Female respondents, on the other hand, didn’t feel as strongly that they should be eligible to be drafted.
Only 26.3% of female respondents felt that women should be required to join the Selective Service and therefore be eligible for the Draft, if it were to be implemented in the future.
The history of the draft
Conscription has been used in the U.S. for the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korean, and Vietnam Wars.
However, the first peacetime draft began in 1940 when the Selective Training and Service Act came into effect. Up until 1973, men were drafted to fill spots in the military that could not be filled voluntarily.
Even refugees and non-citizens must register
Currently, all U.S. males from 18-25 must register with the Selective Service. This includes non-citizens, Green Card holders, asylum seekers, and refugees.
Failure to register with the Selective Service is grounds for denying U.S. citizenship.
Females, as well as males who have had male-to-female gender reassignment, are not required to register.
What happens if you don’t register?
No one will come to your door or ask to actually see your Selective Service card unless an actual draft has been implemented in the U.S.
But, if you refuse to register for the Selective Service, you may not qualify for federal student aid.
And, if prosecuted, you could face up to five years in jail or a fine of up to $250,000.
How many women are in the U.S. Military?
Although women aren’t required to sign up for the Selective Service, this doesn’t mean that they aren’t volunteering for military service.
In fact, nearly 15% of active-duty military personnel are women. In the U.S. Reserves, women comprise 18% of enlisted reservists and 19% of officers.
However, only 2.7% of women in the U.S. military are on the front lines, whereas 5.4% are engaged in “tactical operations.”