In 2016, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) sponsored legislation that would have compelled women to register for the draft. Fortunately, the bill did not become law, though the Senate approved it, 85–13.1 But the issue is not dead.2 In June of 2017, Congress considered a similar measure.3 Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA), who supports the change, said, “It’s time to stop delaying the inevitable.” Her most recent amendment calling for such compulsion failed a House Armed Services Committee vote by a razor thin 33–28 margin this year.4

McCain says that compulsory draft registration for women “is the logical conclusion of the decision to open combat positions to women.”5 But it isn’t logical at all. Permitting female volunteers to serve in combat roles does not logically entail that unwilling women should be forced to serve in the military. Think about it. Does availing the corporate ladder to women compel them to climb it? Of course not. . . .


1. Elaine Donnelly, “McCain’s Mandate for Co-ed Conscription,” Washington Times, June 7, 2016,, (accessed November 10, 2017).

2. Jennifer Steinhauer, “Senate Votes to Require Women to Register for the Draft,” New York Times, June 14, 2016, on 10/17/2017, (accessed October 17, 2017).

3. Richard Sisk, “Congress Shelves Plans to Have Women Register for Draft,”, June 29, 2017,

4. Rowan Scarborough, “Pentagon advocates requiring women to sign up for military draft,” Washington Times, October 24, 2017,, (accessed November 10, 2017).

5. Travis J. Tritten, “Senate's Armed Services Committee Chairman Backs Women in the Draft,” Stars and Stripes, February 10, 2016,, (accessed Nov 27, 2017).

6. Theodore Schleifer, “Ted Cruz: Making U.S. Women Eligible to Be Drafted Is 'Nuts,'” CNN, February 8, 2016,, (accessed October 17, 2017).

7. Jacqueline Klimas, “Rand Paul Introduces Amendment to Get Rid of Draft,”  Washington Examiner, May 24, 2016,, (accessed October 17, 2017).

8. Klimas, “Rand Paul Introduces Amendment to Get Rid of Draft.”

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