UPDATE: Transgender Women Must Register For the Draft But Not Transgender Men

transgender women military draft
Ted Eytan from Washington, DC, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Editor’s note: After publication, Robert Kenny, Deputy Associate Director of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs for the Selective Service System sent the following to author Kat Anderson: “I know that you acknowledged that the Biden-Harris Administration inherited the law on registration requirements for Selective Service, but some in the public are under the impression that the President can change this policy through a presidential proclamation or executive order, and that is simply not true.  Any changes to who must register or not register with the Selective Service requires congressional action (an amendment to the current legislation).”

With all the talk of gender fluidity and the Biden administration bending over backward to make sure that they ‘see’ and ‘hear’ transgender citizens, it’s interesting that biology does seem to matter when it comes to fighting our nation’s wars.

In a rather interesting way, I suppose the Biden administration does ‘see’ transgender citizens in as much as making sure that if you are a transgender woman – ie, of the male sex, you sign up for the draft.

A recent tweet from the Selective Service System (SSS) reminding parents that their sons must register for selective service upon their 18th birthday had some parents responding with tongue-in-cheek tweets.

However, the reaction changed when the reality hit that the SSS requires any person who was born male to register.

It’s interesting how the Biden administration easily picks and chooses when to see gender and when not. So let’s dive a bit deeper into this issue.

RELATED: Retired Military Brass Make Bank Working for Foreign Regimes Like Saudi Arabia

The Rules

The SSS website says that all biological males must sign up for the draft to include the following:

“U.S. citizens or immigrants who are born male and have changed their gender to female.”

But what about transgender men? They are exempt from selective service because they were born female.

So there are marked differences between men and women, at least regarding the profession of arms. Weird that there isn’t one when it comes to sports, but that’s another article in and of itself.

To be honest, this isn’t a new policy. Still, due to the social climate and gender ideology surge, it is back in the conversation. I have a bit of a different take on this, and it’s essential to lay out my background for any readers unfamiliar with me.

As a biological woman who identifies as a woman because I am a woman, I raised my right hand when I was 18 years old back in early 2001 and served in the United States Air Force for over 20 years before I retired. I deployed numerous times and earned myself a Bronze Star for my service. 

It seems odd that we aren’t protecting women in sports but are concerned about women in war. Hogwash is what I say to that.

Why Not Everybody?

In the last few years, the National Defense Authorization Act has debated changing the language from requiring every “male person” to just “person” regarding the draft. This is in an attempt to include women in the selective service.

Interestingly, the Biden administration came out last year in support of changing the requirement, stating that the registration requirement for all citizens would ensure:

“…a military selective system that is fair and just.”

However, the change didn’t happen to the language this year, thanks partly to Republicans. Missouri Senator Josh Hawley believes:

“Forcing our daughters, mothers, wives and sisters to fight our wars is wrong.”

I don’t understand the reason for this argument. But perhaps more maddening is how it seems easier to allow transgender individuals to volunteer for service and transgender women to register for the draft than it is to include women in the draft.

RELATED: Pentagon Diversity Chief Recommended Anti-Police Book

Just sit in that space for a minute. But perhaps the biggest concern is our readiness overall.


The Heritage Foundation recently published its Index of Military Strength, and no shocker here; it’s not good. Within the Executive Summary, they open with this terrifying statement that the military is:

“…at growing risk of not being able to meet the demands of defending America’s vital national interests.”

They further broke down our departments as follows:

  • Army: Marginal
  • Navy: Weak
  • Air Force: Very Weak
  • Marines: Strong
  • Space Force: Weak
  • Nuclear: Strong

While it doesn’t surprise me that our Marine Corps and nuclear capabilities are strong, the other four department’s ratings drag our overall military power down to a ‘Weak’ rating. With the same foundation rating the capability of threats from China and Russia as ‘Formidable,’ all Americans should start worrying about our military capabilities if you hadn’t already.

What Happened?

So how did we reach a point where our military is no longer the strongest and most feared? According to the Heritage Foundation, it’s a compilation of many things to include, perhaps at the top of the list years of “poorly defined priorities.” 

I can relate to the statement as a veteran of the Afghanistan war. But I would also argue that the cultural shift in the military has many parents and possible recruits thinking twice about visiting their recruiters, as evidenced this year.

The Army missed its recruitment goal by a whopping 15,000 soldiers, coming up 25% short of their goal. Many veterans and Republicans argue that wokeness has made the military weak. 

RELATED: Renaming Military Installations Erases More Than Just History, But Also Identity

But if you ask the first female Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, JoAnne Bass, she disagrees, stating:

“That whole ‘woke’ terminology has me a little perplexed.”

She continues to say:

“I don’t subscribe to the ‘wokeness’ in the way that it’s discussed. I actually think that, yeah, we probably need to wake up to the goodness of what all Airmen and what all people bring to the fight.”

She doesn’t seem all that perplexed to me.


Twitter is always great for reading some creative quips, especially ones directed toward the government. Some of the tweet replies to the SSS were quite classic:

“For the purpose of the SSS my son will identify as a girl starting with his 18th birthday, checkmate fascist.”

“The government believes in two genders again when it’s time to send your kids to die so Lockheed doesn’t miss quarterly revenue numbers.”

And my personal favorite:

“Do you assume we are all biologists? How are we to know what is a ‘son?’ It is 2022. Read a book and cool it with your transphobic tweets.”

So while Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson couldn’t define a woman, it seems pretty evident that the Selective Service can. So perhaps they could clue her in. 

But with our military “…at significant risk of not being able to meet the demands of a single major regional conflict”, maybe we should let women sign up for the draft.

Who knows… perhaps the next ‘Band of Brothers’ will be a ‘Band of Non-Gender specific persons who share a bond over conflict hardship.’ 

Although I’m not sure it has the same ring to it.

Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
The Political Insider ranks #3 on Feedspot’s “100 Best Political Blogs and Websites.”

USAF Retired, Bronze Star recipient, outspoken veteran advocate. Hot mess mom to two monsters and wife to equal parts... More about Kathleen J. Anderson

Mentioned in this article::