ORDER TO REPORT FOR ARMED FORCES PHYSICAL EXAMINATION
What would it take to initiate a new draft?
Congress and the President Authorize a Draft
A crisis occurs which requires more troops than the volunteer military can supply. Congress passes and the President signs legislation which starts a draft.
What would happen following the draft authorization and lottery drawing?
Registrants with low lottery numbers are ordered to report for a physical, mental, and moral evaluation at a Military Entrance Processing Station to determine whether they are fit for military service. Once he is notified of the results of the evaluation, a registrant will be given 10 days to file a claim for exemption, postponement, or deferment.
175mm heavy artillery firing in Vietnam
Who decides whether an exemption is valid?
A local Selective Service board (“draft board”) consisting of five citizen volunteers. Local and Appeal Boards will process registrant claims. Those who pass the military evaluation will receive induction orders. An inductee will have 10 days to report to a local Military Entrance Processing Station for induction.
There’s even an application to be a “draft board” member on the Selective Service System website here.
Some requirements to be a board member are that they be:
Must be 18 years old or older,
Must be a citizen of the United States,
Men must have registered with Selective Service, except those born from March 29, 1957 through December 31, 1959,
Must not be a member of law enforcement occupation as defined by Selective Service policy (example: police officer or judge),
Must not be an active or retired career member of the Armed Forces or Reserves or National Guard,
Must not have been convicted of any criminal offense.SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM AGENCY STRUCTURE
“Selective Service has more than 2,000 local and appeal boards, comprised of approximately 11,000 volunteer civilian board members nationwide. In the event of a draft, local and appeal boards would be mobilized to form the “backbone” of Selective Service. Board members would decide draft deferments, postponements, and exemptions based upon claims filed by the young men who are selected for induction.” Source
Would attending college qualify a man for an exemption, like it did for most of the Vietnam War era?
It appears that being in high school or college would still accomplish that sort of deferment, at least judging by this sentence at the bottom of the SSS web page Selective Service classifications from 1948 – 1976:
Student Postponements – A college student may have his induction postponed until he finishes the current semester or, if a senior, the end of the academic year. A high school student may have his induction postponed until he graduates or until he reaches age 20.
Without any sort of deferment, he might get a letter that looks like this one, from 1970:
ORDER TO REPORT FOR INDUCTION
10 months later I was in Vietnam!
I hope you don’t “Win” the draft lottery — if and when it does takes place! Bob
Timeline around the 1969 Draft Lottery:
19 Nov 69 – Congress gave the president the authority to institute the “draft lottery” system aimed at inducting 19-year-olds before older men. Nixon signed the bill into law 26 Nov 69. Under the new law the period of prime eligibility was reduced from 7 years to 1 year. Maximum eligibility would begin on a man’s 19th birthday and end on his 20th birthday.
1 Dec 69 – The first draft lottery in 27 years was held at Selective Service Headquarters in Washington, DC.
21 Feb 70 – A presidential commission recommends the institution of an all-volunteer Army and elimination of the draft.
23 Apr 70 – President Nixon calls for far-reaching draft reform. Nixon also issued an Executive Order that ended all occupational deferments and most paternity deferments, with “extreme hardship” as the only exception.
1 Apr 71 – Draft Bill – A 2-year extension of the draft passed the House (239-99) in a roll-call vote. The Senate also passed the bill 24 Jun 71 following a long debate, lasting from 6 May through 24 Jun 71. 48% of manpower for the Army were draftees or “draft motivated.”
28 Sep 71 – The 2-year draft extension was signed into law after lapsing from 30 Jun until 28 Sep. Deferments were abolished for 1971 college freshmen, although upperclassmen retained draft deferments. Also in the bill was a non-binding provision putting Congress on record as backing an early end to the Vietnam War. Source
1969 Draft Lottery during the Vietnam War
Vietnam War Era Draft Lotteries
Vietnam War timeline
Vietnam War era legislation
Thousands of Pa. men fail to register with selective service
August 12, 2020 (WTAJ) – “The compliance rate nationally is roughly ninety-two to ninety-three percent. Coincidentally Pennsylvania is only at 83 percent, which isn’t bad but it is our second worst state in the country behind California,” said Wadi Yakhour, Chief of Staff for the Selective Service System.
If men do not register with selective service by their 26th birthday they could face prison time and be fined up to $250,000. The government hasn’t prosecuted anyone since the 1980’s, however there are other consequences for failing to register.
If someone is opposed to war for religious or ethical reasons the group suggests registering with selective service at the post office and writing you are a conscientious objector on the card.
“The selective service does not register anyone as a conscientious objector at this time but your claim will be documented and it will start a paper trail,” said Maria Santelli, Executive Director of the Center on Conscience and War.
According to Yakhour, the government is working on improving its Alternative Service Program. “It gives conscientious objectors the opportunity to serve their country without picking up a weapon and without participating in war,” said Yakhour.
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