The Senate Armed Services Committee has approved language in the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act that would require women to register for the military draft.
Currently, only men must sign up for Selective Service when they are between the ages of 18 and 25. The all-volunteer U.S. military has not drafted anyone since last draft call on Dec. 7, 1972, near the end of the Vietnam War. The Selective Service may, however, be reinstated in a national emergency.
The language came out of the subcommittee on personnel, led by Chairwoman Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat from New York. The ranking Republican member is Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina.
Highlights of the Act include a 2.7 percent pay raise for both military and the Department of Defense civilian workforce, as well as a change to the Military Selective Service Act to require the registration of women for Selective Service.
The Act also authorizes fiscal year 2022 active-duty end strengths for the Army of 485,000 (up from 480,000); the Navy, 346,200 (up from 332,528); the Marine Corps, 178,500 (down from 186,000); the Air Force, 329,220 (up from 327,878); and the Space Force, 8,400. It authorizes reserve component military end strengths in line with President Joe Biden or his successor’s request, with the exception of Air National Guard military technicians and full-time Reserve and Guard personnel, which are frozen at FY21 levels.
From the readiness and management support subcommittee, where Sen. Dan Sullivan is the ranking Republican minority member, the bill has language that requires defense contractors to publicly disclose employee training materials “for review and identification of Critical Race Theory or similar theoretical instruction.”
Sen. Jack Reed, of Rhode Island is the committee’s chairman, and Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma is the Republican minority’s ranking member.
The U.S. House is working on a similar bill, and the two will be reconciled in the legislative process.