Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The U.S. Selective Service System Has Draft Boards Ready in Case a Draft Is Reinstated

The September 16th Wall Street Journal article by Michael M. Phillips entitled “Keeping Their Powder Dry: Draft Boards Hang On, Just in Case” surprised me because I probably had unconsciously assumed that there were no more draft boards as there isn’t a draft.

Apparently, though, draft boards have to be ready to go if needed. So citizens are recruited to serve on the boards, and they practice deciding the fate of fictional draftees.

The article also provides an interesting look at the history of the draft – who knew that an 1863 law allowed Civil War draftees to buy their way out of the army?

Of course the article discusses the lottery system introduced in 1969 during the Vietnam War. My husband’s number was 16 based on his birth date – he had already been commissioned an army officer thanks to ROTC at Michigan State University.

According to the WSJ article: “By the time the last man inducted during the Vietnam era got his draft notice on June 30, 1973, 1.9 million had been conscripted. Another 170,000 had been granted conscientious-objector status.”

Read the whole article at

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