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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 17, 2017 02:57 PM
From: Representative Angel Cruz
To: All House members
Subject: Resolution Urging Congress to Make Selective Service Gender Neutral (Former HR 944)
In the near future, I plan to reintroduce HR 944 from the 2015-2016 legislative session, a resolution urging the Congress of the United States to amend the Military Selective Service Act to require both men and women to register for the draft.

Women have served in the United States Armed Forces in some capacity during every military conflict of our nation’s history. In addition to the recognized clerical and medical support service roles, they have been de facto involved in combat situations even though they were officially banned from combat.

In the early 20th century, the ability for women to be able to formally serve in the military began when Army and Navy Nurse Corps were created and service roles, although still limited, opened during World War II due to the need for man power. Social change in the latter half of the 20th century ended the draft, thus beginning the All-Volunteer Force and spurred the movement for equal rights for women, leading to more integration in the military. Despite this, women were still banned from combat.

In 2013, following an unanimous recommendation by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, national policy changed, ending the direct ground combat exclusion rule for female service members. This decision opens more than 230,000 military positions that were previously closed to women and ensures that the best qualified and most capable service members have an opportunity regardless of gender.

Given the end of the combat exclusion, and in order to ensure full equality for women in the United States Armed Forces, Congress should amend the Military Selective Services Act to require both men and women to register to serve our country. I ask that you join me in urging Congress to act by co-sponsoring my resolution. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my Harrisburg office at 717-705-1925.

Previous co-sponsors:

Introduced as HR129