On Tuesday, two generals testified at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that they believe women should register for potential future military drafts, following the Pentagon decision to open all combat positions to women. Responding to a question by Senator Claire McCaskill at a hearing on women in combat, Gen. Robert B. Neller, the commandant of the Marine Corps, argued that “every American who’s physically qualified should register for the draft,” while the Army chief of staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley concurred. Senator McCaskill herself said she would also be in favor of having women register: “Part of me believes that asking women to register as we ask men to register would maybe possibly open up more recruits as women began to think about, well, the military is an option for me,” she said. It is largely a symbolic discussion as the draft hasn’t been used since the Vietnam War. Under the current system, only men ages 18 to 26 living in the United States are required to register for the draft. While it’s unclear whether Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter supports the idea, White House press secretary Josh Earnest stated it was not “an official administration position” that women be required to register.
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