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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 9, 2019 02:14 PM
From: Representative Angel Cruz
To: All House members
Subject: Urging Congress to Make Selective Service Gender Neutral
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 manpower. Social change in the latter half of the 20th century ended the draft, thus beginning the All-Volunteer Force and spurring 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, I am urging Congress to amend the Military Selective Services Act to require both men and women to register for selective service. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

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

Introduced as HR77