And that makes many of us worried that they’ll reactivate the military Draft. Yes, “reactivate.”
Surprise! The Draft was never disbanded, they just stopped grabbing 18-year-olds, sticking them in uniforms and send them off to kill or be killed.
“The draft came to an end when the United States Armed Forces moved to an all-volunteer military force. However, the Selective Service System remains in place as a contingency plan.”
Virtually all male U.S. citizens, regardless of where they live, and male immigrants, whether documented or undocumented, residing in the United States, who are 18 through 25, are required to register with Selective Service.
The law says men must register with Selective Service within 30 days of their 18th birthday.”
If the Draft was turned back on the best guess is they’d use the “lottery” system to pick who gets a free trip to Basic Training.
You know the Arizona Lottery’s numbered balls? They used a similar, hand-operated, ping-pong ball mixing contraption. They had 365 balls numbered to correspond to birthdates. If your number came up early in the process, “Happy Birthday” and welcome to the United States military.
That was 1969 during the Vietnam War days. It came about because of serious problems:
- The military was having a huge problem getting enough guys (yes, just men at the time) to voluntarily hand themselves over to the armed forces for a free trip to exotic Southeast Asia.
- The system of “deferments” from being drafted had worked well for white guys going to college, but that
just meant more non-college men were taking their place. Student deferments were the most widespread, but guys with medical problems also got a pass. What kind of medical problems? It could have been almost anything. The military’s standards for what medical problems would disqualify a man for service tightened up so that only serious disfiguring conditions as, oh, just a random example, “bone spurs,” would be deferred
Now, as unpopular as the Draft was not everyone thought effectively ending it and relying on an all-volunteer military was a good idea. The concern voiced mostly by a small group of progressive anti-war activists went this way: The government will be less likely to wander off into a war (like with Iran) if the sons of the wealthy, privileged and especially elected officials, were in line for service along with everyone else.
A final thought: The Trump Administration is speeding to a disastrous conflict in the Middle East and sending thousands of our volunteer military with no discernible strategy.
Not one of them was drafted. Pray for them.