WASHINGTON — The government is deliberating whether to propose Selective Service changes that would make women eligible for the military draft, the White house said Friday, a day after the Pentagon said it would no longer bar women from combat jobs.
The Defense Department has prepared an analysis of how the Pentagon change could affect the U.S. Military Selective Service Act, said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.
“We’re going to work with Congress to look at that analysis, to review it, to get others’ opinions and determine if additional reforms or changes are necessary in light of this decision,” Earnest said.
Earnest said President Barack Obama has not expressed his views to the Pentagon.
The comments came a day after Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced he was ordering the military to open all military jobs to women, including the most dangerous commando posts.
Carter’s move opens up a total of about 220,000 jobs that were previously closed to women. They include some of the most demanding roles, including special operations forces. In announcing the historic change, Carter said the military could no longer afford to bar half the population from key posts solely because of gender.
The Selective Service Act requires eligible men to register for the draft when they turn 18 or face fines. Registrants can be called up for compulsory service until they are 26 years old, though none have been drafted in decades.
Carter has previously said he supports a review of the draft based on the growing role women play in the military.