I write this as an Army veteran and the mother of two children who have enlisted to serve their country.
There’s been a bit of a debate lately about whether or not women should register for the draft. After all, if the military is going to open combat arms to females, it is only fair that they get the pleasure of registering for the Selective Service as individuals capable of being drafted in times of war.
I’ve always been of the opinion that as long as women can carry the load – without lowering standards – and can perform the same tasks as their male counterparts without help, more power to them. There are precious few women who can or are willing to do that. It’s not because they can’t. I think with proper and continued training, women can perform the same duties as men, but it requires a lot more work and determination. Sorry, ladies, but we are physically weaker than men. We do require a lot more physical training to match male stamina and physical abilities. If you can and are willing to go the extra mile, go for it! But don’t expect anyone to lower standards so you can feel good about yourself.
That’s the first hurdle.
Precious few women will meet or exceed those standards, but when they do, they become an invaluable part of the fighting force, and if war breaks out, we will need every capable Soldier to do the job of defending our nation.
Every. Last. One.
At least one Presidential candidate has an issue with this. My husband wrote a very compelling essay the other day about why the liberty movement should choose Ted Cruz, since Rand Paul has decided to end his campaign. But on the issue of women and the draft, Cruz is wrong. Dead wrong.
“It was striking that three different people on that stage came out in support of drafting women into combat in the military,” Cruz said of his primary rivals at Saturday night’s GOP debate.
“I have to admit, as I was sitting there listening to that conversation, my reaction was: Are you guys nuts?” he added during a speech in New Hampshire.
Pinning blame for the idea on political correctness, Cruz said forcing women into close combat “is wrong, is immoral and, if I’m president, we ain’t doing it.”
Couple of things here.
If women are to do the same jobs as men, and do them at the same skill level, and are serving in combat units, doing those jobs, equality demands that they register for the draft just as men do!
Also, no one is forcing women into combat. By training and meeting the same standards as men, and volunteering to serve in the same units, women are volunteering for combat, as mission needs dictate. It’s about equality. If qualified, healthy men can be forced to serve in a time of war, so should qualified, healthy women.
But Cruz is also missing a fundamental principle I think is critical to a defender of liberty. We shouldn’t be forcing anyone – male or female – into military service! The draft is an obsolete, unneeded tool that forces those who are unwilling – for whatever reason – serve during war.
First – I wouldn’t want some doofus who was forced into the military, doesn’t want to be there, and whose head and heart aren’t fully in the mission, in a foxhole with me. I wouldn’t trust them to have my six, and I wouldn’t want to use my strength and honor to defend them, if they’re half-assing the mission.
Second – we have sufficient numbers of brave, intelligent, and dedicated individuals who voluntarily serve, and consider defending this nation an honor. Hell, the Army is cutting down its ranks! We certainly don’t need to pull from the ranks of the unwilling! I just don’t think the draft would be needed.
And third, I find the whole idea of forcing individuals into any kind of service unpalatable and hardly cost effective. Why conscript someone into service on whom you will be spending tens of thousands of dollars in food, clothing, housing, equipment, training, benefits, and salary, who doesn’t even want to be there? Frankly, I think that money is much better spent on individuals who volunteer.
That said, it’s not political correctness to have equal standards for males and females. It’s called equality. Military service is not a game, and it’s not an experiment. You want to play with the big dogs? You’d better be willing to do everything they are.