US military leaders: Women should have to register for draft

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Women in Military Now Eligible for All Combat Jobs

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- U.S. armed forces leaders said on Tuesday that women should be required to register for the military draft, along with men, as the military moves toward integrating them fully into combat positions.

Congress should begin to look at legislation requiring women to register for the Selective Service, they told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on women in combat.

READ MORE: 4 students charged with sex crimes for wrestling bus incident

"I think that all eligible and qualified men and women should register for the draft," said General Robert Neller, the commandant of the Marine Corps.

The U.S. military is currently an all-volunteer force, but young men are still required to register in case the draft is reactivated.

See images of the first female Army rangers:

36 PHOTOS
Army Rangers - first female Rangers
See Gallery
US military leaders: Women should have to register for draft
FORT BENNING, GA - AUGUST 21: Capt. Kristen Griest salutes during the graduation ceremony of the United States Army's Ranger School on August 21, 2015 at Fort Benning, Georgia . Capt. Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver are the first women ever to successfully complete the U.S. Army's Ranger School. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Aug. 21, 2015, file photo, U.S. Army First Lt. Shaye Haver, center, and Capt. Kristen Griest, right, pose for photos with other female West Point alumni after an Army Ranger school graduation ceremony at Fort Benning, Ga. Haver and Griest became the first female graduates of the Army's rigorous Ranger School. Their history-making is among the state's top stories of 2015. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Capt. Kristen Griest of Orange, Connecticut (L) and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver of Copperas Cove, Texas chat as they wait to receive their ranger tabs at Ranger school graduation at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia August 21, 2015. The two pioneering women made history on Friday as they became the first females to graduate from the Army's elite and grueling 62-day Ranger school, at Fort Benning, Georgia. Though Haver and Griest are still not eligible to take part in front-line combat, according to reports, a decision on whether to change that policy could come in the fall.. REUTERS/Tami Chappell
Capt. Kristen Griest of Orange, Connecticut (L) and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver of Copperas Cove, Texas wave to family and friends as they wait to receive their ranger tabs at Ranger school graduation at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia August 21, 2015. The two pioneering women made history on Friday as they became the first females to graduate from the Army's elite and grueling 62-day Ranger school, at Fort Benning, Georgia. Though Haver and Griest are still not eligible to take part in front-line combat, according to reports, a decision on whether to change that policy could come in the fall. REUTERS/Tami Chappell TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
1st Lt. Shaye Haver of Copperas Cove, Texas, center, and Capt. Kristen Griest of Orange, Conn., left rear, stand as they are recognized for being the first female graduates of the Army's Ranger School, during a luncheon for military women â active-duty service members and veterans, spouses and caregivers â at the Vice President's official residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
U.S. Army Capt. Kristen Griest, left, Maj. Lisa Jaster, center, and First Lt. Shaye Haver, right, pose together after an Army Ranger School graduation ceremony, Friday, Oct. 16, 2015, in Fort Benning, Ga. Jaster, who is the first Army Reserve female to graduate the Army's Ranger School, joins Griest and Haver as the third female soldier to complete the school. (AP Photo/Branden Camp)
Maj. Lisa Jaster, center, embraces First Lt. Shaye Haver, left, and U.S. Army Capt. Kristen Griest, right, after an Army Ranger School graduation ceremony, Friday, Oct. 16, 2015, in Fort Benning, Ga. Jaster, who is the first Army Reserve female to graduate the Army's Ranger School, joins Griest and Haver as the third female soldier to complete the school. (AP Photo/Branden Camp)
U.S. Army Capt. Kristen Griest, left, of Orange, Conn., stands in formation during an Army Ranger School graduation ceremony, Friday, Aug. 21, 2015, at Fort Benning, Ga. Griest and First Lt. Shaye Haver became the first female soldiers to complete the Army's rigorous school, putting a spotlight on the debate over women in combat. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
U.S. Army Capt. Kristen Griest of Orange, Connecticut, speaks with reporters Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, at Fort Benning, Ga., where she was scheduled to graduate Friday from the Army’s elite Ranger School. Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver are the first two women to complete the notoriously grueling Ranger course, which the Army opened to women this spring as it studies whether to open more combat jobs to female soldiers. (AP Photo/Russ Bynum)
U.S. Army Army 1st Lt. Shaye Haver, right, speaks with reporters, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, at Fort Benning, Ga., where she was scheduled to graduate Friday from the Army’s elite Ranger School. Haver and Army Capt. Kristen Griest are the first two women to complete the notoriously grueling Ranger course, which the Army opened to women this spring as it studies whether to open more combat jobs to female soldiers. (AP Photo/Russ Bynum)
In this April 26, 2015, photo, 1st Lt. Shaye Haver, one of the 20 female soldiers, who is among the 400 students who qualified to start Ranger School, tackles the Darby Queen obstacle course, one of the toughest obstacle courses in U.S. Army training, at Fort Benning, in Ga. Haver and Capt. Kristen Griest are the first women to complete the U.S. Army's grueling Ranger School and were scheduled to graduate Friday, Aug. 21, alongside 94 male soldiers at Fort Benning, Ga., families of the soldiers confirmed Wednesday. (Robin Trimarchi/Ledger-Enquirer via AP)
CLEVELAND, GA - JULY 14: U.S. Army 1st Lt. Shaye Haver (L) takes part in mountaineering training during the at the U.S. Army Ranger School on Mount Yonah July 14, 2015 in Cleveland, Georgia. U.S. Army Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver were the first female soldiers to graduate from Ranger School. (Photo by Ebony Banks/U.S. Army via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, GA - JULY 14: U.S. Army U.S. Army Capt. Kristen Griest (2nd L) takes part in mountaineering training during the at the U.S. Army Ranger School on Mount Yonah July 14, 2015 in Cleveland, Georgia. U.S. Army Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver were the first female soldiers to graduate from Ranger School. (Photo by Yvette Zabala-Garriga/U.S. Army via Getty Images)
FORT BENNING, GA - JUNE 23: U.S. Army Capt. Kristen Griest (R) participates in an obstacle course as part the training at the U.S. Army Ranger School June 23, 2015 at Fort Benning, Georgia. U.S. Army Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver were the first female soldiers to graduate from Ranger School. (Photo by Scott Brooks/U.S. Army via Getty Images)
FORT BENNING, GA - JUNE 28: U.S. Army 1st Lt. Shaye Haver (R) participates in an obstacle course as part the training at the U.S. Army Ranger School June 28, 2015 at Fort Benning, Georgia. U.S. Army Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver were the first female soldiers to graduate from Ranger School. (Photo by Scott Brooks/U.S. Army via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, GA - JULY 14: U.S. Army Soldiers 1st Lt. Shaye Haver (R) takes part in mountaineering training during the at the U.S. Army Ranger School on Mount Yonah July 14, 2015 in Cleveland, Georgia. U.S. Army Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver were the first female soldiers to graduate from Ranger School. (Photo by Ebony Banks/U.S. Army via Getty Images)
In this April 25, 2015, photo, Capt. Kristen Griest, right, talks to another soldier as she waits at Lawson Airfield for the Airborne Assault exercise to begin during U.S. Army's Ranger School at Fort Benning, Ga. Griest and 1st Lt. Shayne Haver are the first women to complete the grueling Ranger School and were scheduled to graduate Friday, Aug. 21, alongside 94 male soldiers at Fort Benning, Ga., families of the soldiers confirmed Wednesday, Aug. 19. (Robin Trimarchi/Ledger-Enquirer via AP)
In this April 25, 2015, photo, Capt. Kristen Griest waits at Lawson Airfield for the Airborne Assault exercise to begin during U.S. Army's Ranger School at Fort Benning, Ga. Griest and 1st Lt. Shayne Haver are the first women to complete the grueling Ranger School and were scheduled to graduate Friday, Aug. 21, alongside 94 male soldiers at Fort Benning, Ga., families of the soldiers confirmed Wednesday, Aug. 19. (Robin Trimarchi/Ledger-Enquirer via AP)
A female Ranger students holds a position with her team during an exercise on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015, at Camp James E. Rudder on Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Two out of 19 females have made it to the final phase ofArmy Ranger training which ends at Camp James E. Rudder on Eglin Air Force Base. Pentagon leaders decided in 2013 to investigate the possibility of opening all military jobs to women. (Nick Tomecek/Northwest Florida Daily News via AP)
Army Rangers students carry a zodiac boat into the Yellow River on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015, at Camp James E. Rudder on Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. A female Ranger student is pictured (middle left). Two out of 19 females have made it to the final phase of Army Ranger training which ends at Camp James E. Rudder on Eglin Air Force Base. Pentagon leaders decided in 2013 to investigate the possibility of opening all military jobs to women. (Nick Tomecek/Northwest Florida Daily News via AP)

A female Army Ranger student lifts a rucksack onto her back on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015, at Camp James E. Rudder on Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Two out of 19 females have made it to the final phase of Army Ranger training which ends at Camp James E. Rudder on Eglin Air Force Base. (Nick Tomecek/Northwest Florida Daily News via AP)

Captain Kristen Griest (R) participates in the Darby Queen obstacle course as part of the training at the Ranger Course on Ft. Benning Georgia, June 28, 2015. When two women completed the daunting U.S. Army Ranger school this week they helped end questions about whether women can serve as combat leaders, as the Pentagon is poised to open new roles, including elite Navy SEALs, to women in coming months. Army Captain Kristen Griest and First Lieutenant Shaye Haver on Tuesday completed a 62-day course including parachute jumps, helicopter assaults, swamp survival and small unit leadership that earned them a Ranger badge. Picture taken June 28, 2015. REUTERS/U.S. Army/Pfc. Ebony Banks/Handout THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS

A female Army Ranger student crosses the Yellow River on a rope bridge on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015, at Camp James E. Rudder on Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Two out of 19 females have made it to the final phase of Army Ranger training which ends at Camp James E. Rudder on Eglin Air Force Base. Pentagon leaders decided in 2013 to investigate the possibility of opening all military jobs to women. (Nick Tomecek/Northwest Florida Daily News via AP)

In this In this Aug. 13, 2013 file photo, U.S. Navy Master-at-Arms Third Class Danielle Hinchliff, left, and Master-at-Arms Third Class Anna Schnatzmeyer, both of Coastal Riverine Squadron 2, train under the watchful eye of instructor Boatswain's Mate Second Class Christopher Johnson, right, while training on a Riverine Assault Boat as they participate in a U.S. Navy Riverine Crewman Course at the Center for Security Forces Learning Site at Camp Lejeune, N.C. As the first two women pass the grueling course to become Army Rangers, the U.S. military services appear poised to allow women to serve in most, if not all, front-line jobs, including as special operations forces, according to several senior officials familiar with the discussions. The decision comes four years after an independent commission recommended opening all combat jobs to women. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)
Soldier climbs the Prusik Tower during the 2004 Best Ranger Competition at Fort Benning, Ga., April 24, 2004 (Photo by Russ Bryant/WireImage)
FORT BENNING, UNITED STATES: US Army Rangers demonstrate their patroling at the Ranger Training Bridgade at the US Army Infantry School in Fort Benning, Georgia 20 December 2002. The Ranger's primary mission is to engage in the close combat direct fire battle. AFP PHOTO/Stephen JAFFE (Photo credit should read STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP/Getty Images)
397109 16: A U.S. Army Ranger climbs a rope during a demonstration of the elite force November 9, 2001 before a graduation ceremony at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia. Rangers have been used in the military actions in Afghanistan. (Photo by Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images)
397109 14: A U.S. Army Ranger unit goes through its paces during a demonstration of the elite force November 9, 2001 before a graduation ceremony at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia. Rangers have been used in the military actions in Afghanistan. (Photo by Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images)
397109 13: A U.S. Army Ranger unit goes through its paces during a demonstration of the elite force November 9, 2001 before a graduation ceremony at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia. Rangers have been used in the military actions in Afghanistan. (Photo by Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images)
397109 04: A U.S. Army Ranger rappels down a tower during a demonstration of the elite force November 9, 2001 before a graduation ceremony at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia. (Photo by Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images)
The winners after the last event, Staff Sergeant Adam Nash and Staff Sergeant Colin Boley from the 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga., April 24, 2004. (Photo by Russ Bryant/WireImage)
Staff Sergeant Adam Nash of the 75th Ranger Regiment, and Team 15, takes a moment to watch his team mate finish the slide for life at Victory Pond During the Best Ranger Competition at Fort Benning, Ga., April 24, 2004. (Photo by Russ Bryant/WireImage)
397109 01: A U.S. Army Ranger slides down a cable as an explosion goes off in the backround during a demonstration of the elite force November 9, 2001 before a graduation ceremony at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia. (Photo by Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images)
A U.S. Army ranger holds up two Ak-47s that were captured in an assault on a Panamanian Defense Force installation at Rio Hato, north of Panama City, Dec. 21. The boxes contain the weapons. (AP Photo)
U.S. Army rangers take a break on a rooftop during patrols in West Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, April 2, 2005.A car bomb exploded Saturday in central Iraq, killing five people, including four police officers on patrol, while gunmen killed an education official in Baghdad. A U.S. Marine was killed in Ramadi, the military said (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

The military leaders at the hearing said it would take years for women to be fully integrated into combat units, although they generally voiced strong support for the plan to skeptical committee members.

"Full integration will likely take several years," Patrick Murphy, acting secretary of the Army, said.

Mark Milley, the Army chief of staff, estimated that full integration of women would take "no less than one to three years of deliberate effort."

President Barack Obama's defense secretary, Ash Carter, announced in December that the military would let women serve in all combat roles, a historic announcement greeted with intense skepticism by many Republican members of Congress.

Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, the committee's chairman, objected to the announcement at the time. He said it would have "a consequential impact" on U.S. forces and their war-fighting capabilities.

At Tuesday's hearing, McCain again expressed doubts, saying he worried there had not been enough planning before the announcement. "I am concerned that the department has gone about things backwards," McCain said.

Some Republican critics of the plan have said they fear it would lead to the imposition of quotas mandating a specific number of women in some units, such as Marines in positions that might require hand-to-hand combat.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus rejected that suggestion as "unacceptable," adding, "It would endanger not only the safety of Marines, but also the safety of our nation."

Many Democrats have expressed strong support.

Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the top Democrat on the panel, said physical abilities alone do not determine whether a military unit is effective.

"Fighting and winning wars, as I'm sure our panelists know well, involves much more than that," Reed said.

More from AOL.com:
'Shark Tank' investor Daymond John says this daily ritual changed his life
Woman pulls over cop speeding: 'Nobody is above the law'
This Wegmans Facebook post is a scam -- don't click it

Read Full Story

People are Reading