According to the United States Selective Service, transgender women are required to sign up for the military draft, but not transgender men.
The federal policy has been in place for several years, and the Biden administration recently announced support for continuing the measure.
“The administration supports section 513 and the registration requirement for all citizens, which further ensures a military selective system that is fair and just,” said White House representatives in 2021.
Regarding transgender women, the Selective Service makes the policy clear on its website.
“US citizens or immigrants who are born male and changed their gender to female are still required to register,” the agency wrote on its website.
However, if a citizen was born a female and the person now identifies as male, then they are not required to register for the military draft.
The policy made headlines after the Selective Service tweeted a reminder to parents to register their sons for the military draft.
“Parents, if your son is an only son and the last male in your family to carry the family name, he is still required to register with SSS,” the agency tweeted.
Parents, if your son is an only son and the last male in your family to carry the family name, he is still required to register with SSS. Learn more about who needs to register at https://t.co/GYbRK99c09. pic.twitter.com/tzW6uKkyl5
— Selective Service (@SSS_gov) October 7, 2022
Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act in 2021 with President Joe Biden’s signature. The act did not include a provision requiring women to sign up for the draft.
Later in 2021, the White House referred to a 2016 study that found “open transgender service has had no significant impact on operational effectiveness or unit cohesion in foreign militaries.” On this basis, Biden passed an executive order permitting all qualified Americans to serve in the military.
When asked for comment, Selective Service System spokesperson Micheal Migliara said that Congress has the authority to require women to register for the draft.
“In order for the Selective Service to be authorized to register women, Congress would have to pass legislation amending the current law,” Migliara stated. “While there is currently no draft, registration with the Selective Service System is the most publicly visible program during peacetime and ensures operational readiness in a fair and equitable manner.”
“If authorized by the President and Congress, our Agency would rapidly provide personnel to the Department of Defense, while at the same time providing an Alternative Service Program for Conscientious Objectors,” Migliara added.