Top U.S. generals have recommended that women register for selective service. Three GOP presidential candidates have voiced support for the idea, but Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has called it “nuts.”
Army and Marine Corps leaders recommended that women be required to register for the draft before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Feb. 3, NPR reports.
The potential for including both genders in the draft follows the Pentagon’s decision to open all U.S. combat roles to women that meet the physical requirements.
“There will be no exceptions,” Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced on Dec. 3, 2015.
“They’ll be allowed to drive tanks, fire mortars and lead infantry soldiers into combat … and anything else that were previously open only to men.”
This unprecedented inclusivity of women in the U.S. military has sparked a discussion of whether or not American women aged 18 should be required to register for selective service.
During the GOP presidential debate on Feb. 6, three candidates were asked if they would support women registering for the draft.
“I support that… I do believe that selective service should be opened up for both men and women in case a draft is ever instituted,” said Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, according to Breitbart.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush agreed, answering, “If women can meet the requirements, the minimum requirements, for combat service, they ought to have the right to do it, for sure.”
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stated that “there is no reason why one young woman should be discriminated against from registering for the selective service.”
However, Cruz has distinguished himself from the GOP pack by strongly condemning the evolution of the draft, according to CNN.
“It was striking that three different people on that stage came out in support of drafting women into combat in the military,” Cruz told a crowd in New Hampshire on Feb. 7. “I have to admit, as I was sitting there listening to that conversation, my reactions was: Are you guys nuts?”
Cruz added that implementing women into selective service would be “political correctness.”
“We have had enough with political correctness — especially in the military,” Cruz said. “Political correctness is dangerous, and the idea that we would draft our daughters, to forcibly bring them into the military and put them in close contact — I think is wrong, it is immoral, and if I am president, we ain’t doing it.”