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Proposed legislation to bring back draft would include women, offer non-military options

Those who did not want to perform military service could instead apply to serve in the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps. (AP Photo/File)

It was the footnote on the announcement that the last of the military combat roles would be open to women: the draft.

Congressman Charlie Rangel is no stranger to wanting to bring the draft back, and now it seems there is no reason not too.

His latest proposal, 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.

KIRO Radio host Andrew Walsh says while he hopes the draft is never reinstated, Rangel offers some interesting points.

Producer Tina Nole, agrees she wouldn’t want to be drafted, but says she understands Rangel’s efforts.

Part of the motivation for bringing the draft back, she says, is that everyone would have a stake in our present wars. In that piece of the argument she says, she’s all for it.

“My father was in two tours in Vietnam, so war was a big part of my life,” says Tina. “It was that way because they were drafted. That whole time was completely different. And as I grew up, in my 20s and 30s, these two wars we’re in now – because I’m in news I’m very affected by it – but I don’t know anybody that’s there.”

Andrew and Tina agree on the equality issue. If a 21-year-old is healthy, man or woman, either should be up for the possibility of the draft. No one, they say, would be given a job where they can’t pass the physical tests – man or woman.

But above the equality issue, Tina says she’s interested in the other services suggested in Rangel’s legislation.

“I didn’t spend a lot of time volunteering,” says Tina, who went straight from her studies at Evergreen to the working world.

So when it’s time for a mid-life crisis, she thinks she might have to join the Peace Corps and head for the other side of the world.


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