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A Debate on Women in Combat, Selective Service, and Military Reform

Two veterans joined the Federalist Radio Hour to weigh in women’s role in the military.


Today on the Federalist Radio Hour, two veterans joined the conversation on the recent debate on women in combat and women in military selective service. Amber Smith, former Army Kiowa warrior helicopter pilot, and Mike Donnelly, a combat veteran of the first Persian Gulf War.

Top generals in the military have told Congress that women should not only be allowed to have combat roles, but should also be available for the draft, but many Americans believe this is morally wrong. Smith said not requiring women to be drafted is discriminatory towards men. “There is no such thing as partial equality or picking and choosing when we want the rules to apply to us,” she said. “With equal opportunity comes equal responsibility.”

Donnelly held the opposite belief, saying he doesn’t believe women should be serving in direct combat roles, or drafted. “I disagree with the decision of this administration to move so quickly, to use the military for social experimentation, and to make a decision that is so profound without getting input from the American people,” he said.

They also addressed the ways which the military should be reformed and the growing divide between the military and civilians. “In the civilian world, people are viewing veterans as people to be pitied, or that there is something wrong with them… instead of allowing them to use their priceless leadership and experiences to be leaders in their communities,” Smith said.

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