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Moving Towards Mandatory Military Draft Registration for Women
“We’re a very inexpensive insurance policy,” says Lawrence Romo, a stout 59-year-old former Air Force officer who’s now the agency’s director. Every American man between 18 and 25 still has to register for the draft or face the consequences.
Now women, finally allowed into front-line combat positions this year, may have to join them.
Failure to register is a felony It can theoretically land you in prison for five years or cost you a $250,000 fine. Selective Service still sends lists of nonregistrants to the Department of Justice in case the government feels like prosecuting anyone. Prosecutions don’t occur during peacetime, Romo assures me, but “severe consequences” still lurk. Men who don’t register before age 26 can’t hold most federal jobs or get federal government student loans. Many immigrants who arrive in the United States before they turn 26 can’t become citizens if they don’t register. A majority of states even make registration a requirement to get a driver’s license. And once you’ve missed the deadline, there’s no going back. (In 2014, 12 percent of men ages 18 to 25 failed to register.)
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