Step Right Up, Ladies

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Mon, Feb 8 - 9:00 am EST | 3 years ago by
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Lines of Departure - Should women be drafted?

Janey get your gun, get your gun, get your gun.
Take it on the run; (we’ll shoot you if you run).
Hear them calling you and me,
We’re bound for the infantry.

Hurry, right away, no delay, go today.
Choice was what you had, now you’re just treated bad.
Tell your sweetheart not to pine,
To be proud his girl’s supine.

Over there….

~ George M. Cohan, Over There, Brought up to date1

Recently, and perhaps significantly, two of the senior military officers in the country, Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley and Commandant of the Marine Corps Robert Neller, testified before Congress that women should be required to register for the draft.2 Interestingly, their civilian chiefs, acting Army Secretary Patrick Murphy and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, called instead for a national debate. I suppose those latter two mean something like the debate that accompanied the decision to open up all combat arms branches to women. That debate? Well, it was short so you probably missed it, amounting to, “Soldier, Sailor, Airman, and Marine, the facts and the truth don’t matter in the slightest when matched against our fantasy of a glorious egalitarian future. Now shut up and do what you’re told.” Oh, a fierce debate, that one was.

Interesting, though, is it not, that after imposition by fiat of gender integration now the civilians are saying “nuance” and “debate” and, impliedly, “go slow,” while the generals are shouting, “Charrrge!“and “Full speed ahead!”?

Here’s what I think is going on there: Both the generals and the civilians realize exactly the same things, that: A) Mom and Dad, while not thrilled about sending their son to war, absolutely don’t want their little girl being forced to go to war, and B) rallying that sentiment is the last chance to strangle in the cradle this execrably stupid notion of gender equality in combat before it has a chance to utterly ruin the United States armed forces, which, yes, it will. Am I sure of it? Of the ruination, I am absolutely certain, which should surprise no one here. It could have been done in a non-ruinous way but that would never fit the fantasies of the left, of course. As for the attempt at political sabotage, no, I can’t be sure, but that’s what I think. If I am right does this mean that the Chief and the Commandant are in a quiet and minor rebellion against their civilian masters? Well, it wouldn’t be unprecedented.3

Note, here, that if the Republicans take the White House, next year, this may play a part in it. Hilarious, no, if a move that both Pink Bernie and the Hildebeast certainly approve of keeps them out of power.

Okay, now sit down. You’re not drinking anything at the moment, are you? Good. No food in your mouth? Nothing you might choke on?

Yes, we should make women register for the draft. Moreover, if we ever institute a draft, they should be required to serve. Note that I am not saying they should serve in gender integrated organizations, at the morally important squad, platoon, company, and battalion levels. Note that I am also not saying they belong in the combat arms, though under certain conditions, scrupulously adhered to, they might.4

Note that I am not saying that merely because it might make Mr. and Mrs. America wake up for a change and cause them to dispose of those politicians who have pushed their little girls (but surely not the craven pols’ little girls) closer to the line of fire. Nope, there are sound reasons for doing so anyway.

A non-exhaustive list of those sound reasons follows:

1. Look, folks, we no longer have the young men to fight an existential war, such are our low birthrates, our high abortion rates, and the numbers of young men who are disqualified by reasons of character, morals, criminal record, education, intelligence, physical and mental health, drug abuse, etc. Indeed, under thirty percent are qualified.5 We could perhaps increase those percentages some by dropping standards, but to think we can drop those standards very much and still have much of an armed defense is fantasy. Sorry, lefty, I was in the Cat IV Army in 1974. It was amazingly worthless.

Moreover, of those eligible, likely a third or more would resist being drafted, further reducing the numbers available.6

It was mostly nonsense propaganda when the phrase was coined, “free a man to fight.” It’s not nonsense anymore. When that existential war comes – and it will; or, at least, it will if we last long enough – there is no reason for four healthy males to be fixing electronic components in the rear when four women could do it as well, and they could crew a tank or provide the dismounted infantry for a Bradley. There’s no reason for a healthy young man to be driving a truck if a woman can do it as well. There’s no reason for four healthy young males to be running a fire station if six woman can do it as well and the men are needed for other things. I cannot imagine a reason for leaving a healthy and fit young man as a clerk when riflemen are needed at the front.

2. You may not have noticed it, but not only are registered nurses largely female, as they’ve always been, but about a third of doctors are female now and they are disproportionately younger, hence more eligible.7 Probably not too many of our readers here will know it, but conscription of doctors was a distinct thing from conscription of machine gun fodder, for example, the doctor draft had wider age limits than the machine gun fodder draft. It’s not clear to me that we could conscript enough male doctors for an existential war, hence should be able to draft women, as well. Moreover, to the extent that female military participation grows substantially, and given that females have some distinct medical issues, and further to the extent that gynecologists tend to be female, we simply must have them.

3. One of the nice things about a draft is that failure to report and serve is, generally speaking, a criminal offense, indeed a felony. Felonies, of course, carry certain penalties. I really like the idea of those who refuse to meet the ultimate obligations of citizenship, fighting and, if necessary, dying, being booted from the body politic, as well. It would move the country somewhat – and possibly substantially – to the right, were it rigorously carried through. Some, of course, would emigrate to other countries, taking out citizenship there, to much the same effect. And good riddance.

4. And, finally, who knows, maybe Mom and Dad will get a sudden rush of brains to the head and vote against progressivism, generally. But, even if they do, we still need to plan and prepare for a female draft.

So c’mon, Janey, get your gun.

Addendum: When, as is sure to happen, a doctrinaire libertarian, anarchist, objectivist, or anarcho-capitalist shows up in comments to point and shriek, “involuntary servitude!” I’ll deal with that then.


1 The original song is here: . No, contrary to rumor I was much too young to go over the top at the Marne.



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Tom Kratman is a retired infantry lieutenant colonel, recovering attorney, and science fiction and military fiction writer. His latest novel, The Rods and the Axe, is available from for $9.99 for the Kindle version, or $25 for the hardback. A political refugee and defector from the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, he makes his home in Blacksburg, Virginia. He holds the non-exclusive military and foreign affairs portfolio for EveryJoe. Tom’s books can be ordered through

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