March 26, 2020

SWAN Responds to National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service Report
Commission recommends extending Selective Service registration to women

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service published their final report, Inspired to Serve, addressing the future of national service and the Selective Service System. This report examines various topics related to national service and recommends that Selective Service be extended to include women to, “draw on the talent of a unified Nation in a time of national emergency.”

SWAN’s view on Selective Service is that with full rights comes full responsibility of citizenship. SWAN’s CEO and Army reserve Captain Deshauna Barber said, “We are pleased to see a report finally address the unbalance within the current Selective Service System; a system that is fundamentally flawed because women are treated differently from men. US women have served and fought in wars throughout American history, so including women as a requirement is long overdue.”

This report, required by the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2017, follows the Secretary of Defense’s 2015 decision to open all combat roles to women. The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate created a bi-partisan National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service to address the debate over whether the requirement to register for Selective Service should extend to women. The Commission was charged with two primary tasks: “review the selective service registration process operated by the Selective Service System” and “examine and recommend ways to increase participation in the military, national, and public service.”

“A comprehensive report that examines the Selective Service System is long overdue,” said retired Navy Captain and Director of Government Relations, Lory Manning. “Not only did this report recommend including women in the Selective Service, but it also elucidates the difference between who must register for the draft and who will actually be drafted. It also makes clear that those drafted can be eligible for assignment in a wide range of military jobs-there is no requirement to assign draftees to combat duties only.”

To access the report directly, click here

About the Service Women’s Action Network

SWAN is a national, nonpartisan organization and member-driven community network advocating for the individual and collective needs of service women and women veterans. To date, SWAN has played a major role in opening all military jobs to service women, holding sex offenders accountable in the military justice system, eliminating barriers to disability claims for those who have experienced military sexual trauma, and expanding access to a broad range of reproductive healthcare services for military women.