The White House and the Pentagon both announced their support for a measure requiring women to register for the military draft, multiple outlets reported on Thursday afternoon. The White House has previously remained neutral on the issue, but took an issue with its latest statement, making Obama the first president to back a universal draft registration since Jimmy Carter.
“As old barriers for military service are being removed, the administration supports—as a logical next step—women registering for the Selective Service,” said Ned Price, a spokesman for Obama’s National Security Council. The House is set to vote Friday on a defense bill and will likely remove the Senate-approved provision requiring women to register for the draft, rendering Obama’s announcement symbolic.
According to USA Today, “Obama believes adding women to the draft would serve two purposes: showing a commitment to gender equality throughout the armed services, and fostering a sense of public service that comes from requiring draft registration as a ritual of adulthood.” Read more at USA TODAY.