Skip to main Content

Jenkins: Drafting women into the military would be a national disgrace

  • Author: Paul Jenkins
  • Updated: June 26, 2016
  • Published February 13, 2016

There are few things that could make me forget my blood oath to defend the U.S. Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same, but my granddaughters being drafted for combat likely would send me into the street with a very bad attitude.

While the notion of again drafting men in this nation is, in my mind, indefensible, it is beyond comprehension a developed nation such as ours could become so unraveled, so mealy, so amoral and cowardly it would consider, even for a the briefest instant, forcibly sending its young women -- its daughters, its granddaughters, its sisters -- into combat.

That it would even consider doing so before the last able-bodied man has fallen is shameful. That it would do so in the name of political correctness or so-called "gender equality" is despicable. The idea strains even the limits of barbarity and tests the very thread of civilization, and yet, here we are.

Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter in December opened infantry, armor and special operations combat units to women -- but, mind you, to volunteers. (Think of that what you will; we can argue another day about the efficacy of tossing women into combat -- the issue at the core of the registration/draft debate.)

Carter's action stirred feminists -- most of whom, I suspect, have lived lives far from foxholes -- to howl for "equal rights" in draft registration, which would equate to our daughters and granddaughters and sisters being forced to sign up for the draft. It would mean sending them to fight and die alongside our sons and grandsons and brothers -- whether they want to or not.

Supporters of such nonsense invariably point to the Israeli Defense Forces as the gender-neutral role model for women in combat -- a convenient myth. While 92 percent of the IDF's jobs are open to women, only 3 percent are assigned to combat positions.

Carter's order prompted Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley and Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert B. Neller to tell an Armed Services Committee hearing there is no reason women should not be required to register for the draft.

In allowing women into combat units, Carter removed the only legal barrier to women's registration. In 1981, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Rostker v. Goldberg that it was constitutional to draft men, and not women, because the Defense Department had banned women from combat roles. That is out the window.

If military bigwigs -- who have led volunteer forces since 1973 - really support the notion of female draft registration, they certainly are not alone. President Barack Obama is a fan. (Would his daughters sign up? I wonder.) During a Republican debate Feb. 6 in New Hampshire, GOP presidential hopefuls Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie each supported the notion. Ted Cruz, not so much. "Are these guys nuts?" he asked later. Donald Trump, who received several deferments to avoid Vietnam era service, Ben Carson and Ohio Gov. John Kasich said nothing.

Hillary Clinton dodges the question nowadays -- surprise! -- after supporting the idea earlier. Vietnam draft dodger Bernie Sanders' view is unclear, but he gets the vapors just thinking about "gender equality."

Count me among those who concur with author Robert Heinlein's observation that conscription is slavery. In his view: "If a country can't save itself through the volunteer service of its own free people, then I say: Let the damned thing go down the drain!" Indeed.

The government has instituted a draft four times: The Civil War, or, more properly in some camps, the War of Northern Aggression, World Wars I and II, and through the Korean and Vietnam wars. It used it from 1940 to 1973, and registration of men continues. There was a short-lived movement in World War II to draft women during a military nurse shortage. Protests and increased numbers of volunteers ended that.

In my heart of hearts, I can only hope that common sense and cool heads will end this current silliness too, before my granddaughters are old enough to be victimized by addlepated feminists and idiots in Washington, D.C.; that all of our children and grandchildren will be safe.

Despite the exhortations of whose very existence seems to hinge on men and women being equal in all things -- and they are not -- there are ideas that simply will not work; ideas that are shameful, craven and insidiously destructive to our society -- and, many of us think, intentionally so. Registering and drafting women for combat -- that is what the noise is about, after all -- is at the top of that very long list.

It is inconceivable that Congress ever would go along, but if it does, I likely will not be alone in the street.

Paul Jenkins is editor of the; a division of Porcaro Communications.

The views expressed here are the writer's own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, email Send submissions shorter than 200 words to or click here to submit via any web browser.

For more newsletters click here

Local news matters.

Support independent, local journalism in Alaska.