Last year laws were changed allowing women to serve in all units of the military. Following this change, legislation has been proposed requiring girls to register for the draft just like it is required of boys when they turn 18. I’ve watched issues of women in the military since I was a midshipmen as the Naval Academy 16 years ago. In general, I choose not to discuss military policy issues publicly, but in this particular case I feel the need to speak up because we are having the wrong conversation.
Women are now allowed to serve in the military without any restrictions, including serving in all combat units. Whether you agree with that policy or not, the fact is that it’s already happening. For many years the masses have demanded equality. We can’t demand the removal of the glass ceiling without also removing the glass floor. I’m honestly surprised at how many people didn’t see this coming.
Right now, in our current military climate, draft registration is basically a non-issue. The last draft was during the Vietnam war. Our entire military is all volunteer. Everyone serving chose the profession of arms of their own free will. I hope you understand how significant it is to the way our military functions. The real conversation we need to be having is what will it take to ensure a draft is never again needed.
I get asked all the time how I can be okay with sending Jared off to war. I’m okay with it because I believe in our military. I believe in the training and in the chain of command. I know that everyone soldier, sailor, marine, and airman over there (and at home) with my husband choose to be there and will not hesitate to engage in the fight when necessary.
There are stories from WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam about the number of people who where sent overseas, into the fight, and refused to fire on the enemy. When you strip away all the politically correct and desensitized terms, war is about soldiers on one side killing soldiers on the other side until someone gives up, often with a trail of civilian causalities and destruction left behind. I cannot even begin to imagine the fear of being in battle not knowing if your buddy will back you up. I would not be willing to watch my husband or any other family or friends go off to war in that kind of a climate.
A standing army is of vital importance to the stability and freedom of any country. Regardless if you agree with foreign policy or our participation in recent conflicts (which are all ultimately political decisions), I hope you understand the need for a force that can protect our boarders and our way of life. If we did not have the Army, the Navy, the Marines, and the Air Force guarding us, which country do you think would try to invade us first? I hope and pray daily that we can find a level of peace and cooperation with other nations that means no-one ever has to go off to war, and I know having a strong military as a show of force is one component to making that happen.
What will it take to ensure the draft is never again necessary? That is a matter of recruitment and retention, both issues debated at all levels of the military. Of course I have my two cents to throw in (and I do in all the surveys that go out to military dependents and veterans). We the people, the taxpayers, should be asking these questions of our government leaders. Every time there is an issue that will impact the military, we should be asking how it will effect recruitment and retention. THAT is the conversation that we should be having to ensure no one, men or women, sons or daughters, is ever drafted again.