Rep. Rangel: Bring Back the Draft and Open It Up to Women

Feb 15, 2013 3:49pm

A Democratic congressman is calling for Congress to reintroduce mandatory military service – this time for all Americans.

Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., introduced a bill Friday to create a 21st-century version of the draft.  That would be unremarkable for him, except for its requirement that women register for the Selective Service.

Rangel has put forward legislation to reinstate the draft on at least three other occasions, in 2007, 2010 and 2011. His most recent bill, the National Universal Service Act, would require young adult American citizens to commit two years of service to their country either in the Armed services or as a civilian.

Those who did not want to perform military service could instead apply to serve in the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps.

Unlike the last time the draft was implemented in the United States, there would be no exception for students in college or universities.

Rangel defended that change Friday morning.

“If you take a look at that segment of the United States that actually goes to war, they get unfair disadvantage in every darn thing that’s happened. I know, because I was one of them,” Rangel said on NBC’s Morning Joe. “And it’s unfortunate that in the last draft that we had, all you had to do was say that you’re going to college, you get into college and you can avoid it. That’s why my no-nonsense-everybody-goes, it really counts…. You may go in screaming and yelling, but when you come out, you salute the flag.”

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