Bring Back The Draft!

| June 14, 2021

Army recruiting poster

This is almost my favorite subject, although making good gravy sometimes exceeds it.

It is about whether or not women should be required to register with Selective Service and put up with being drafted if we need to have warm bodies and walking two-leggers in a wartime setting.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/opinions/2021/06/09/changing-military-draft-its-not-really-about-women.html

I don’t think it’s necessary that I go over the history of the hundreds of thousands of women who volunteered for military service, starting back in World War I with the Yeomanettes (Navy) and Marinette (USMC), and continuing later on with WAVES, WACs, WAAFs, WAFs, and WMCs during World War II, Korea and Vietnam. All of them, including me and other women, were volunteers. At the time that Selective Service and the draft were being protested by boys under 18 (and older) who didn’t want to “go to Vietnam and get their SH and IT all blown up”, the military offered real-world skills training.

In actuality, the number of troops who ended up in Vietnam was considerably lower than the numbers drafted, and frankly, many who got their draft notices either joined something besides the Army or did what my brother did: go to basic, serve for one year on AD, and then spend the remaining time in the Reserves as weekend warriors. By that time, the Vietnam war was winding down and was mostly done, anyway.

From the article: The Supreme Court has declined to hear arguments in the case of National Coalition for Men v. Selective Service System. In doing so, it acceded to the Biden administration’s wishes that it not address the question of whether women should join the millions of young men required to register each year with the Selective Service – the federal agency responsible for the draft. It will now be up to Congress to decide what, if anything, to do with the law governing registration and the draft.

As scholars of the draft, we have seen Congress grappling with the question of selective service for years. A bill to include women in the draft was introduced in 2020 after a national commission studied the issue for four years. Congress is also considering two other proposals to dismantle the entire Selective Service System.

The future of the draft, and registration for it, depends on two questions. One is about the role of women, but the bigger one is about the role of the registration itself.

Registration and the draft are not the same thing, although they are related. Registration is the process by which people identify themselves to the government as potentially eligible to be drafted to serve in the military.

In the U.S., Congress and the president must pass a law authorizing a draft, at which point the government agency known as the Selective Service System oversees the administrative process of conscription. There has not been a draft in the U.S. since 1973, when Congress allowed the existing draft authorization, conscripting men into service in the Vietnam War, to expire.

Two years later, President Gerald Ford suspended men’s responsibility to register for the draft. But in 1980, after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, President Jimmy Carter reversed Ford’s position, reinstating registration – though not the draft itself. Since then, all male permanent residents of the United States, both citizen and noncitizen, between the ages of 18 and 26, have been required to register and update their information with the Selective Service every time they move.  – article

I’m completely in favor of requiring that women register with Selective Service. There are several reasons: it removes the whole “privileged brat” thing; many, many women are volunteering already; and it might just sort out those so-called gender issues if the guy who claims to be a girl realizes he can’t get out of being drafted. ?

The downside of this is, as indicated in the article toward the end, the fact that at present, there is no structure in place for handling a new draft system, calling people to active duty who had registered with Selective Service.

Category: Diversity, Military issues

Comments (13)

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  1. Jeff says:

    So if did not register when I turned 18 I could not get federal aid for college nor be eligible to work for the government. I knew I was not going to be drafted and I dont think there will ever be a draft. Just tie federal aid and government jobs to registration for women just like it was for me.

  2. Martinjmpr says:

    I’d be more in favor of just jettisoning the silly boondoggle that is “selective service” anyway.

    I registered when I turned 18 (ironically, I didn’t receive my registration notice until AFTER I’d enlisted in the Army) but during the 10 years that I was purportedly subject to being drafted, I moved at least 15 to 20 times and never ONCE “updated” my registration (of course, it would seem a little silly to update a ‘draft registration’ address at an APO in Germany, but whatever.)

    Most of my male friends and family members also moved multiple times and never, ever, updated their registration.

    So really, what is the draft registration? It’s a list of 18 to 28 year old males that has probably a less than 20% chance of being accurate?

    What value is that in a national emergency?

    Serious question: Has there ever been a test of the selective service registration system?

    In other words, has there ever been a time when someone said “let’s test the system to see if we have accurate information?” (seeing as how having accurate location information is about the only benefit draft registration could possibly have.)

    It wouldn’t be tough. Generate 10,000 randomly drawn names from the registration records and then send postcards saying “please contact phone number XXX-XXX-XXXX or return this postcard verifying that the information is correct.”

    I’ll bet if they did that, they’d get maybe a thousand replies. The other 9,000 would either be returned for “no longer at this address” or would be ignored.

    So I’ll ask again: What is the VALUE of draft registration?

    More to the point, what value does this multi-million dollar Federal expenditure offer to us, the American people?

    Zero, Zip, Nada and Zilch as near as I can tell.

    So scrap the program, retire or reassign the employees to some more useful job and save both the money and the time necessary to administer this worthless program.

  3. SFC D says:

    Either everyone registers, or no one registers. It’s unfair and unnecessary.

  4. ninja says:

    According to this April 2021 article, the Selective Service costs $25 Million in Taxpayer Dollars PER YEAR to upkeep!!!

    IMHO, either get rid of it or as SFC D wrote, have EVERYONE register.

    A Bill (April 2021) has been introduced to abolish it:

    “DEFAZIO, WYDEN, PAUL, DAVIS INTRODUCE BIPARTISAN BILL TO ABOLISH THE SELECTIVE SERVICE”

    https://defazio.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/defazio-wyden-paul-davis-introduce-bipartisan-bill-to-abolish-the

    “U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., and U.S. Representative Rodney Davis, R-Ill., today introduced a bicameral, bipartisan bill to end the Selective Service.”

    “No young person, regardless of gender, should be subject to a military draft or be forced to register for a draft in the United States. The military draft registration system is an unnecessary, wasteful bureaucracy which unconstitutionally violates Americans’ civil liberties and unfairly subjects individuals who fail to register for the draft to unnecessarily severe, lifelong penalties – penalties which disproportionately affect low-income Americans. We should be abolishing military draft registration altogether, not expanding it, which is why I’m proud to reintroduce the Selective Service Repeal Act in the House,” DeFazio said.”

    “The Selective Service has far outlived its expiration date, wasting millions of taxpayer dollars per year to prepare for a draft is no longer relevant to our military,” Wyden said. “Congress hasn’t come close to reinstating a military draft in 50 years, and I can’t imagine a scenario where it would. With the success of our all-volunteer force, this arcane system, which disproportionately harms disadvantaged young men, should be officially abolished, once and for all.”

    “It has been nearly 50 years since the draft was last used. I’ve long stated that if a war is worth fighting, Congress will vote to declare it and people will volunteer. This outdated government program no longer serves a purpose and should be eliminated permanently,” said Dr. Paul.”

    “The last time the Selective Service System was used was nearly a half century ago, yet taxpayers are shelling out $25-million dollars a year to operate an agency that doesn’t even maintain an accurate count of citizens who are of service-age or enforce federal law requiring registration upon turning eighteen years old,” said Rep. Davis. “This is not a responsible use of taxpayer dollars, particularly as our nation has been defended by an all-volunteer military since the Vietnam War. This legislation is just one small step we can take to eliminate an outdated and ineffective federal bureaucracy, saving taxpayer dollars in the process.”

    “The Selective Service runs an annual budget of more than $25 million per year, preparing for a draft that has not occurred since 1973.”

    • timactual says:

      ” if a war is worth fighting, Congress will vote to declare it and people will volunteer”

      Just like they did in the Civil War, WWI, WWII,…

  5. Andy says:

    I agree with SFC D. It is a complete waste of taxpayer money. On the other hand, females scream about equality so make em register. The onky way out of this argument is compulsory service. Everyone must serve in the military for X amount of years and if they are not physically able, then they get to be a fireman, trash collector, or what other civil service is in need.

  6. Devtun says:

    Well, a draft including wimmin is one way to boost our anemic birthrate of 1.7 (2.1 is considered minimum replacement rate).

    • Anonymous says:

      How Japan’s handling its dismal birthrate (or, at least, why it’s opened up military jobs to women far more than any other Asian nation).

  7. Quartermaster says:

    I have no problem with the draft, but the services desperately need to be defeminized. Women should not be placed in close combat, or in situations where they are in danger of capture. No civilized country intentionally sends women into harms way.