View Full Version : No Draft For Now, Official Reports

06-12-2005, 01:30 PM
No draft for now, official reports
Selective Service head visits state


Advocate staff writer

Whether it's called the draft or conscription, the idea of compulsory military service looms large at a time the United States is at war in Afghanistan and Iraq while reports of Army recruiting shortages circulate.

As the head of the Selective Service System, William Chatfield said Saturday in Baton Rouge that he hears questions about a draft call a lot lately.

"From everything I hear, right now, the all-volunteer Army is sufficient," he said.

The draft ended in 1973 after the U.S. pulled out of Vietnam. In the intervening 32 years, the Selective Service has undergone changes, Chatfield said.

"In the mid-1970s, Selective Service was all but obliterated as an agency," Chatfield said.

In the late 1970s, President Carter's administration began reviving the agency as a sort of insurance policy, Chatfield said.

There also have been policy changes adopted regarding a draft if it is reinstated, he said.

Changes include tightening up on student deferments and creating one central lottery instead of local draft boards.

Congress has the only authority to call a draft, which would take effect with the president's signature. Chatfield pointed out that a 2004 House of Representatives vote defeated the idea, 402-2.

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Chatfield was in Louisiana last week to meet with volunteers and members who make up the local Selective Service boards.

He said the Selective Service mission is not about bringing back a draft; its mission is preventative.

Federal law requires that every 18-year-old male U.S. citizen and immigrant with permanent resident status register with the Selective Service.

This means there are more than 13 million names of men between 18 and 25 who would be eligible should a draft be called, Chatfield said. Registrants stay on the list until they turn 26.

"In a way, it's a psychological tool," he said, "It's like we're sending a message to enemies that we could meet any threat."

The registration rate is more than 93 percent. Some states, including Louisiana, have a program that automatically registers teenagers who have driver's licenses when they reach 18. Other places to register include the U.S. post offices, by mail and online.

Failure to register may bring five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, Chatfield said. It's a felony that can block men from receiving federal loans or jobs in federal government, he said.

06-12-2005, 03:47 PM
"From everything I hear, right now, the all-volunteer Army is sufficient,"

weren't they hollaring about how the recruits were falling short??? but the all-volunteer army is sufficent... they can't make their minds up these days.