With all the threats bouncing back and forth from the Trump administration and North Korea, could the military draft be around the corner? It appears to many that today’s youth are not the patriots as earlier generations. Can this be true? Is the military draft even possible today? Here is what you need to know about the military draft.
The U.S. Military draft, also known as the Conscription has been used during four different conflicts: WWI, WWII, the Cold War and the American Civil War. During 1940, the country saw the first peace time draft, which was called the Selective Training and Service Act.
During the military draft, the government selects men to fill vacancies they couldn’t fill with volunteers. While the draft has been ended, the Selective Service System still remains in place. This means a draft could be resumed at any time in the United States.
Basic Procedures of the Military Draft
If the United States returned to a draft to fill vacancies in the military, this is what it would look like.
Step #1 – The President and Congress Authorize the Draft
During a crisis, a draft has to be authorized by both the President and Congress. If legislation is passed, in the House and Senate and the President signs the bill, a draft will occur. The President cannot enact a draft on his own.
Step #2 – A National Draft Lottery will be Conducted
The lottery system will be based on birthdays and will determine the order men are selected by the Selective Service. It will start with those turning 20 years of age in the draft year, followed by ages 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25. The chances of 18 and 19 year olds getting drafted would be slim.
The lottery system would be conducted publicly with accredited representatives for public interest groups resent to ensure fairness. It’s very similar to the way a state-run lottery works with large drums filled with air balls. All of the balls in the drum will represent a date of the year. When the date is drawn, all men turning 20 on that date would be selected.
Step #3 – Activating all Parts of the Selective Service
When a draft has been initiated, The Selective Service Agency will order all state directors and reserve forces officers to report for duty.
Step #4 – Physical Moral and Mental Evaluations Begin
Those selected by the draft would need to report to the designated MEPS or Military Entrance Processing Station for physical, mental and moral suitability evaluations. These evaluations will determine if an individual is suitable for military service. Once notified of the evaluation, a registrant is given ten days to file for a postponement, deferment or exemption.
Congress may lower the evaluation standards during a draft by providing revised standards.
Step #5 – Local and Appeal Boards will be Activated and Induction Notices Sent Out
Registrant claims will be processed by Local and Appeal Boards. Those passing the military evaluation will be given induction orders and will have ten days to report to one of the MEPS stations for induction.
Step #6 – Draftees are Inducted
Once reaching this step, draftees will be inducted. The current plans call for the Selective Service to deliver the first inductees within 193 days of the draft beginning.
All male citizens of the United States age 18 to 25 have to register with the Selective Service System. This must be done within 30 days of turning 18 years of age. Even those in ROTC, cadets at the Merchant Marine Academy and those who left active duty service must register.
If you don’t register for the Selective Service, you could receive a fine of $250,000 and up to five years in prison. You may also be denied student aid or a federal job if you’re not prosecuted.
Who’s Exempt from the Draft?
A number of men registered with the Selective Service will be exempt from being drafted. For example, ordained ministers would be exempt from service, but still have to register with the Selective Service. While Conscientious objectors don?t have to go through military training or service, they can be assigned to noncombat or civilian service instead of military service. The objection must be based on religious training or belief and not a personal moral code.
Deferments are also possible for those with physical or mental deficiency, men with children or those with families depending on them for support. Elected officials may also gain deferment and students preparing for military or full-time enrollment may also defer service.
Some foreign citizens in the United States, along with foreign agriculture workers may also be exempt from the draft. Those men confined to a hospital or psychiatric instruction and handicapped men are also exempt. Even inmates cannot be drafted.
Whether there will be a military draft in the United States again depends on many factors. If there isn?t’ a need, it won’t happen. However, if a need arises, a draft could be initiated.
For many politicians, it’s believed that initiating a draft would be political suicide. For this reason, many don’t think it will happen, but it’s still possible. There are some serious legal challenges to a draft, however. In addition, the way warfare is dealt with today; there isn’t the same need for larger numbers of troops like in the past.
Nothing is 100% and a draft could be used to fill vacancies in the military. However, the chances of a draft are slim. If it does happen, it will likely go over very poorly with the American public and will ruin the career of any politician voting for the draft.