January 4, 2020 — With a growing interest in my web pages on the military draft during the Vietnam War, it felt like the appropriate time to blog about those details as they would apply to “Generation Z.” Hashtags like #NoWarinIran #TrumpsWar and #WorldWarIII have recently been trending on Twitter.
I’m all too familiar with the 1969 draft lottery — since it was the first step that landed me in Vietnam — less than a year later. There has been huge interest my two military draft web pages from the Vietnam War era:
Generation Z, or Gen Z for short, is the demographic cohort succeeding the Millennials (or Gen Y). Demographers and researchers typically use the mid- to late-1990s as starting birth years, while consensus has not been reached on the ending birth years.Source
While the Vietnam War era draft focused on 19-year-old men, a new military draft would focus on 20-year-old men — those born around Y2K (for a 2020 draft). Even though women are now authorized to fight in combat roles, the Selective Service System (SSS) information that I’ve found on a potential future draft only mentions men. That could always change of course.
Selective Service must deliver the first inductees to the military within 193 days from the onset of a crisis.
What about men older than 20? More SSS details on a future Lottery:
The first men drafted would be those turning age 20 during the calendar year of the lottery. For example, if a draft were held in 2012, those men born in 1992 would be considered first. If a young man turns 21 in the year of the draft, he would be in the second priority, in turning 22 he would be in the third priority, and so forth until the year in which he turns 26 at which time he is over the age of liability. Younger men would not be called in that year until men in the 20-25 age group are called.
The drawing would resemble a “ping-pong ball” Lottery drawing like you see on TV for Powerball:
The lottery process begins with two large air mix drums. First, the air mix balls having date and month on them are loaded in one of the large drums. Using this same method, number from 1 to 365 (366 for men born in a leap year) on the air mix balls are loaded in the second drum.
Following the 1969 draft lottery, men were called at a maximum rate of 30 birthdays per month, meaning that someone who drew number 125 was ‘called-up’ in May of 1970. First, you received the notice to report for a physical in the mail: