Marco Rubio photo

Rubio Campaign Press Release - Here's What Marco Rubio Actually Thinks about the Draft and Women in Combat

February 09, 2016

Paratroopers with the 82nd Airborne Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team conduct a presence patrol May 19, 2012, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. These soldiers are assigned to 3rd Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod)

Throughout its history, our nation has been blessed in moments of great peril to be able to call upon the service of heroes to defend our security and our ideals. It is a testament to the character of our nation that we honor the service and sacrifice of those that fight on our behalf, including so many women that have served with distinction in our military for decades. They have filled critical roles in every branch of the armed forces. Many of these women have served in harm's way. They have won Purple Hearts and Silver Stars. And nearly 200 women have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Women in combat is not a theoretical debate. It has been the reality for more than a decade of war.

Marco supports women who wish to volunteer for combat being allowed to serve in most combat roles as long as physical standards are not lowered and it does not harm unit performance, preserves combat readiness, and takes into account career progression of all soldiers.

The U.S. military is not an instrument for social experimentation. That is why it is critical that we preserve and maintain the same high standards that have made the U.S. military the most elite and effective military force the world has ever known.

Two of our nation's most senior military leaders — the Commandant of the Marine Corps General Robert Neller and the Chief of Staff of the Army General Mark Milley — have recently recommended that all eligible women now be required to register with the Selective Service System.

Marco supports the recommendation of our top military leaders. As women fill more roles in our military, Selective Service should be open for both men and women. In the event a draft is ever required, registering with the Selective Service System would not mean that someone would be automatically be drafted, and women would certainly not be drafted into combat. Only those that meet the military's high mental, physical, and moral fitness standards would be ever be inducted into the armed forces. Moreover, a draft is highly unlikely to occur, even in the most difficult military scenarios.

Our military must have the forces, training, and equipment it needs to deter, and if necessary, defeat any adversary. And as Commander-in-Chief, Marco will review the entire Selective Service System to determine whether it is still necessary or what reforms must be considered given the threats our nation confronts around the world.

Marco Rubio, Rubio Campaign Press Release - Here's What Marco Rubio Actually Thinks about the Draft and Women in Combat Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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