Controversy Over Senate Proposal To Include Women In Selective Service Registration

A proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2025 has sparked controversy by requiring women to register with Selective Service. The Senate Committee on Armed Services’ executive summary indicates that the NDAA would amend the Military Selective Service Act to include women, with the Committee voting 22-3 to advance the proposal to the Senate floor.

Currently, only men aged 18 through 25 must register with Selective Service, which ensures that personnel can be rapidly provided in the event of a draft. The agency’s mission is to maintain a system that can equitably manage a draft and provide alternative service for conscientious objectors.

GOP Rep. Chip Roy of Texas has strongly opposed the proposal, tweeting, “You can go straight to hell. Over my dead body.” Roy’s response underscores the heated debate over expanding Selective Service registration to include women.

The House passed its version of the NDAA on Friday, which includes a provision for the automatic registration of men with Selective Service. This version amends the Military Selective Service Act to state that every male citizen and male resident in the U.S. between 18 and 26 shall be automatically registered.

Roy, despite his opposition to the Senate’s provision, voted with 210 other House Republicans to pass the House’s NDAA. The debate over including women in Selective Service registration reflects broader societal issues regarding gender roles and military service.

As the NDAA moves through the legislative process, the provision to include women will likely continue to be a contentious issue, with significant implications for national defense policies and gender equality.