January 2016 marked a new advancement for women in a world that often still holds them back in certain aspects.
As of Jan. 2, the United States Defense Department lifted all gender-based restrictions for military service. This opens 220,000 jobs to women, which is about 10 percent of the entire active and reserve force. The Army and Marine Corps will have the most job openings.
Women have been able to serve in combat specialties for many years in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain and Sweden.
With this advancement, two of the U.S. military service chiefs, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, are calling for women to be registered for the draft.
Currently, women are exempt from registering for the draft. In 1981, the Supreme Court upheld Congress’ decision to excuse women from registering for the draft because they were not allowed to be in combat positions.
Now that combat is open to women, why should women be exempt from registering for the draft? As American citizens it is our duty to protect and help our country when we are called on to do so in times of dire need.
A nine-month study by the Marine Corps found that gender-integrated units do not perform as well as all male units. Critics say this study was flawed because it didn’t take into account that the male Marines had prior training in combat arms and female Marines did not.
Data taken from the 2011 class at West Point found that 52 percent of female cadets passed the Army physical Fitness Test using the male standards.
A study was conducted by Colonel Ellen L. Haring, a 28-year veteran of the Unites States Army, a USMA graduate and a Ph.D candidate in Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. She found that the collective intelligence of a group increases as the percentage of women increases. They believe this is because women have “social sensitivity,” which is the ability to read the emotions of other people.
Another link that was found was between organizational success and the number of women in the group. Groups with a higher percentage of women had higher organizational success.
In the previous 10 years, 300,000 women were deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nine thousand military women have earned Combat Action Badges in those years.
Women have characteristics and talents that the military could greatly benefit from. Why would they not want women to be included in the draft then?
Jessica Hubble is a freshman journalism major from Arlington. She is a staff writer for the Lariat.