Women have been serving in the United States military since the Revolutionary War, helping to sew uniforms, heal the wounded and, eventually, fight in combat. But they have never been required to register for a military draft.
That could soon change. Under a new recommendation to Congress by a national commission, all Americans ages 18 to 25 — and not just young men currently covered by the law — should be required to register with the government in case of a military draft. The move sets up a debate over a divisive issue that has been simmering for years.
The question of whether to expand draft registration to women was among the most contentious issues considered over the past two years by the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service, a bipartisan group that was appointed by Congress to address the issue of conscription. The commission is set to release it recommendations to Congress on Wednesday.