Could Lady Liberty get drafted?: Women Banned in Combat Lifted

Megan O'Leary, Staff Writer

“Lady Liberty, Grab your gun!” called Uncle Sam.  The ban on woman in the military draft has officially been lifted. Never before has the country drafted women into military service.

On January 24, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the U.S. Selective Service, Army Gen. Martian Dempsey lifted the ban on women serving in combat roles, removing gender barriers from jobs in the military.

Congress established the U.S. Selective Service as an independent federal agency in 1940, one year before the start of World War II. The draft has gone through a lot of changes over the past year of war to include age ranges reaching up to 45 after the U.S. got into World War II, when they only accepted men ages 18 to 25. But through all the wars, women were never included.

This is a big step for womans equallity in the military, But was it the step in the right direction?

With this ban being lifted, questions have been raised that this could change as the Selective Service leaders determine how to institute the new policy of allowing women to serve in combat arms specialties. Last year, four female service members filed a lawsuit challenging the combat ban on the grounds that the policy unfairly blocked them from promotions and other advancements open to men.

Maj. Mary Jennings Hegar, a California Air National Guard pilot who served three tours in Afghanistan told ABC news, “You can’t pick and choose when equality should apply to you…Making generalized statements like, `Women are capable of being in combat’ or `Women are incapable of being in combat,’ are equally ignorant. People are either competent or they’re not competent.” The case has yet to be settled.