Conscription in the United States

Conscription in the United States

Overview
Conscription in the United States (also called compulsory military service or the draft) has been employed several times, usually during war but also during the nominal peace of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

. The United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 discontinued the draft in 1973, moving to an all-volunteer military force, thus there is no mandatory conscription
Conscription
Conscription is the compulsory enlistment of people in some sort of national service, most often military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names...

.

However, the Selective Service System
Selective Service System
The Selective Service System is a means by which the United States government maintains information on those potentially subject to military conscription. Most male U.S. citizens and male immigrant non-citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 are required by law to have registered within 30 days of...

 remains in place as a contingency plan
Contingency plan
A contingency plan is a plan devised for an exceptional risk which is impractical or impossible to avoid. Contingency plans are often devised by governments or businesses who want to be prepared for events which, while highly unlikely, may have catastrophic effects. For example, suppose many...

; men between the ages of 18 and 25 are required to register so that a draft can be readily resumed if needed.
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Encyclopedia
Conscription in the United States (also called compulsory military service or the draft) has been employed several times, usually during war but also during the nominal peace of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

. The United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 discontinued the draft in 1973, moving to an all-volunteer military force, thus there is no mandatory conscription
Conscription
Conscription is the compulsory enlistment of people in some sort of national service, most often military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names...

.

However, the Selective Service System
Selective Service System
The Selective Service System is a means by which the United States government maintains information on those potentially subject to military conscription. Most male U.S. citizens and male immigrant non-citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 are required by law to have registered within 30 days of...

 remains in place as a contingency plan
Contingency plan
A contingency plan is a plan devised for an exceptional risk which is impractical or impossible to avoid. Contingency plans are often devised by governments or businesses who want to be prepared for events which, while highly unlikely, may have catastrophic effects. For example, suppose many...

; men between the ages of 18 and 25 are required to register so that a draft can be readily resumed if needed. In current conditions conscription is considered unlikely by most political and military experts. In fact, some experts consider the selective service system itself to be pointless since the chances of a draft are nearly zero and since a draft would be extremely ineffective in a nuclear war, for example.

Colonial to 1861


In colonial times
Colonial America
The colonial history of the United States covers the history from the start of European settlement and especially the history of the thirteen colonies of Britain until they declared independence in 1776. In the late 16th century, England, France, Spain and the Netherlands launched major...

, the Thirteen Colonies
Thirteen Colonies
The Thirteen Colonies were English and later British colonies established on the Atlantic coast of North America between 1607 and 1733. They declared their independence in the American Revolution and formed the United States of America...

 used a militia
Militia (United States)
The role of militia, also known as military service and duty, in the United States is complex and has transformed over time.Spitzer, Robert J.: The Politics of Gun Control, Page 36. Chatham House Publishers, Inc., 1995. " The term militia can be used to describe any number of groups within the...

 system for defense. Colonial militia laws—and after independence those of the United States and the various states—required able-bodied males to enroll in the militia, to undergo a minimum of military training, and to serve for limited periods of time in war or emergency. This earliest form of conscription involved selective drafts of militiamen for service in particular campaigns. Following this system in its essentials, the Continental Congress in 1778 recommended that the states draft men from their militias for one year's service in the Continental army; this first national conscription was irregularly applied and failed to fill the Continental ranks.

For long-term operations, conscription was occasionally used when volunteers or paid substitutes were insufficient to raise the needed manpower. During the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

, the states sometimes drafted men for militia duty or to fill state Continental Army
Continental Army
The Continental Army was formed after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the colonies that became the United States of America. Established by a resolution of the Continental Congress on June 14, 1775, it was created to coordinate the military efforts of the Thirteen Colonies in...

 units, but the central government did not have the authority to conscript. President James Madison
James Madison
James Madison, Jr. was an American statesman and political theorist. He was the fourth President of the United States and is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being the primary author of the United States Constitution and at first an opponent of, and then a key author of the United...

 and his Secretary of War
United States Secretary of War
The Secretary of War was a member of the United States President's Cabinet, beginning with George Washington's administration. A similar position, called either "Secretary at War" or "Secretary of War," was appointed to serve the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation...

 James Monroe
James Monroe
James Monroe was the fifth President of the United States . Monroe was the last president who was a Founding Father of the United States, and the last president from the Virginia dynasty and the Republican Generation...

 unsuccessfully attempted to create a national draft of 40,000 men during the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

. This proposal was fiercely criticized on the Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 floor by legendary Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 Senator Daniel Webster
Daniel Webster
Daniel Webster was a leading American statesman and senator from Massachusetts during the period leading up to the Civil War. He first rose to regional prominence through his defense of New England shipping interests...

 in "one of [his] most eloquent efforts."
"The administration asserts the right to fill the ranks of the regular army by compulsion.... Is this, sir, consistent with the character of a free government? Is this civil liberty? Is this the real character of our Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

? No, sir, indeed it is not.... Where is it written in the Constitution, in what article or section is it contained, that you may take children from their parents, and parents from their children, and compel them to fight the battles of any war, in which the folly or the wickedness of government may engage it? Under what concealment has this power lain hidden, which now for the first time comes forth, with a tremendous and baleful aspect, to trample down and destroy the dearest rights of personal liberty?
Daniel Webster (December 9, 1814 House of Representatives Address)

Civil War


The United States first employed national conscription during the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. The vast majority of troops were volunteers; however, of the 2,100,000 Union soldiers, about 2% were draftees, and another 6% were paid substitutes.

The South had far fewer inhabitants than the North, and Confederate
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 President Jefferson Davis proposed the first conscription act on March 28, 1862; it was passed into law the next month.

Resistance was both widespread and violent, with comparisons made between conscription and slavery. Both sides permitted conscripts to hire substitutes to serve in their place. In the Union, many states and cities offered bounties and bonuses for enlistment. They also arranged to take credit against their draft quota by claiming freed slaves who enlisted in the Union Army.

Although both North and South resorted to conscription, the system did not work effectively in either. The Confederate Congress on Apr. 16, 1862, passed an act requiring military service for three years from all males aged eighteen to thirty-five not legally exempt; it later extended the obligation. The U.S. Congress followed with the Militia Act of 1862
Militia Act of 1862
The Militia Act of 1862, , enacted July 17, 1862, was legislation enacted by the 37th United States Congress during the American Civil War that allowed African-Americans to participate as war laborers and soldiers for the first time since the Militia Act of 1792.The act created controversy on...

 authorizing a militia draft within a state when it could not meet its quota with volunteers. This state-administered system failed in practice and in 1863 Congress passed the Enrollment Act
Enrollment Act
The Enrollment Act, , enacted March 3, 1863, was legislation passed by the United States Congress during the American Civil War to provide fresh manpower for the Union Army. A form of conscription, the controversial act required the enrollment of every male citizen and those immigrants who had...

, the first genuine national conscription law, setting up under the Union Army an elaborate machinery for enrolling and drafting men between twenty and forty-five years of age. Quotas were assigned in each state, the deficiencies in volunteers required to be met by conscription.

Still, men drafted could provide substitutes, and until mid-1864 could even avoid service by paying commutation money. Many eligible men pooled their money to cover the cost of anyone of them drafted. Families used the substitute provision to select which member should go into the army and which would stay home. Of the 168,649 men procured for the Union Army through the draft, 117,986 were substitutes, leaving only 50,663 who had their personal services conscripted. There was much evasion and overt resistance to the draft, and the New York City draft riots were in direct response to the draft and were the earliest known mass resistance against the draft in the United States. Although there is a tendency to blame immigrants for Civil War draft resistance, this probably reflects Nativist prejudices of the time; few remember that after brief Confederate service the able-bodied Mark Twain spent the Civil War years in Nevada and California. Many others went West to avoid serving in either army.

The problem of Confederate desertion was aggravated by the inequitable inclinations of conscription officers and local judges. The three conscription acts of the Confederacy exempted certain categories, most notably the planter class, and enrolling officers and local judges often practiced favoritism, sometimes accepting bribes. Attempts to effectively deal with the issue were frustrated by conflict between state and local governments on the one hand and the national government of the Confederacy.

World War I



In 1917 the administration of Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

 decided to rely primarily on conscription, rather than voluntary enlistment, to raise military manpower for World War I. An important motivation was to head off ex-president Theodore Roosevelt who proposed to raise volunteer division, which would upstage Wilson. The Selective Service Act of 1917
Selective Service Act of 1917
The Selective Service Act or Selective Draft Act was passed by the Congress of the United States on May 18, 1917. It was envisioned in December 1916 and brought to President Woodrow Wilson's attention shortly after the break in relations with Germany in February 1917...

 was carefully drawn to remedy the defects in the Civil War system and—by allowing exemptions for dependency, essential occupations, and religious scruples—to place each man in his proper niche in a national war effort. The act established a "liability for military service of all male citizens"; authorized a selective draft of all those between twenty-one and thirty-one years of age (later from eighteen to forty-five); and prohibited all forms of bounties, substitutions, or purchase of exemptions. Administration was entrusted to local boards composed of leading civilians in each community. These boards issued draft calls in order of numbers drawn in a national lottery and determined exemptions. In 1917 and 1918 some 24 million men were registered and nearly 3 million inducted into the military services, with little of the resistance that characterized the Civil War.
The draft was universal and included blacks on the same terms as whites, although they served in different units. In all 367,710 blacks were drafted (13.0% of the total), compared to 2,442,586 whites (86.9%). Keith (2000) discusses the reasons behind Southern farmers' resistance to the draft. Along with a general opposition to American involvement in a foreign conflict, Southern farmers objected to unfair conscription practices that exempted members of the upper class and industrial workers. Draft boards were localized and based their decisions on social class: the poorest were the most often conscripted because they were considered the most expendable at home. African Americans in particular were often disproportionately drafted, though they generally were conscripted as laborers and not sent into combat to avoid the tensions that would arise from mixing races in military units. Forms of resistance ranged from peaceful protest to violent demonstrations and from humble letter writing campaigns asking for mercy to radical newspapers demanding reform. The most common tactics were dodging and desertion, and many communities sheltered and defended their draft dodgers as political heroes.

Ford (1997) shows that nearly half a million immigrants were drafted, forcing the military to develop training procedures that took ethnic differences into account. Military leaders invited Progressive reformers and ethnic group leaders to assist in formulating new military policies. The military attempted to socialize and Americanize young immigrant recruits, not by forcing "angloconformity," but by showing remarkable sensitivity and respect for ethnic values and traditions and a concern for the morale of immigrant troops. Sports activities, keeping immigrant groups together, newspapers in various languages, the assistance of bilingual officers, and ethnic entertainment programs were all employed.

Opposition



The Conscription Act of 1917 was passed in June. Conscripts were court-martial
Court-martial
A court-martial is a military court. A court-martial is empowered to determine the guilt of members of the armed forces subject to military law, and, if the defendant is found guilty, to decide upon punishment.Most militaries maintain a court-martial system to try cases in which a breach of...

ed by the Army if they refused to wear uniforms, bear arms, perform basic duties or submit to military authority. Convicted objectors were often given long sentences of 20 years in Fort Leavenworth
United States Disciplinary Barracks
The United States Disciplinary Barracks is a military prison located on Fort Leavenworth, a United States Army post in Kansas....

. In 1918 Secretary Baker created the Board of Inquiry to question the conscientious objectors' sincerity. Military tribunals tried men found by the Board to be insincere for a variety of offenses, sentencing 17 to death
Capital punishment
Capital punishment, the death penalty, or execution is the sentence of death upon a person by the state as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally...

, 142 to life imprisonment
Life imprisonment
Life imprisonment is a sentence of imprisonment for a serious crime under which the convicted person is to remain in jail for the rest of his or her life...

, and 345 to penal labor camps.

In 1917, a number of radicals and anarchists, including Emma Goldman
Emma Goldman
Emma Goldman was an anarchist known for her political activism, writing and speeches. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the twentieth century....

, challenged the new draft law in federal court arguing that it was a direct violation of the Thirteenth Amendment's prohibition against slavery and involuntary servitude. However the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the constitutionality of the draft act in the case of Arver v. United States on January 7, 1918. The decision said the Constitution gave Congress the power to declare war and to raise and support armies. The Court emphasized the principle of the reciprocal rights and duties of citizens:
"it may not be doubted that the very conception of a just government in its duty to the citizen includes the reciprocal obligation of the citizen to render military service in case of need and the right to compel.".


Conscription was unpopular from left-wing sectors at the start, with many Socialists jailed for "obstructing the recruitment or enlistment service." The most famous was Eugene Debs, head of the American Socialist Party, who ran for president in 1920 from his prison cell in Atlanta. He too was pardoned by President Warren Harding.

The Industrial Workers of the World
Industrial Workers of the World
The Industrial Workers of the World is an international union. At its peak in 1923, the organization claimed some 100,000 members in good standing, and could marshal the support of perhaps 300,000 workers. Its membership declined dramatically after a 1924 split brought on by internal conflict...

 mobilized to obstruct the war effort through strikes in war-related industries and not registering.

Conscientious objectors


Conscientious objector
Conscientious objector
A conscientious objector is an "individual who has claimed the right to refuse to perform military service" on the grounds of freedom of thought, conscience, and/or religion....

 exemptions were allowed for the Amish
Amish
The Amish , sometimes referred to as Amish Mennonites, are a group of Christian church fellowships that form a subgroup of the Mennonite churches...

, Quakers and Church of the Brethren
Church of the Brethren
The Church of the Brethren is a Christian denomination originating from the Schwarzenau Brethren organized in 1708 by eight persons led by Alexander Mack, in Schwarzenau, Bad Berleburg, Germany. The Brethren movement began as a melding of Radical Pietist and Anabaptist ideas during the...

 only. All other religious and political objectors were forced to participate. Some 64,700 men claimed conscientious objector status; local draft boards certified 57,000, of whom 30,000 passed the physical and 21,000 were inducted into the Army. About 80% of the 21,000 decided to abandon their objection and take up arms, but 3,989 drafted objectors refuse to serve. Most belong to historic pacifist denominations, especially Quakers, Mennonites, and Moravian Brethren, as well as a few Seventh Day Adventists and Russellites (Jehovah's witnesses). About 15% were religious objectors from non-pacifist churches.

Ben Salmon
Ben Salmon
Ben Joseph Salmon was an American Christian pacifist, Roman Catholic, conscientious objector and outspoken critic of Just War theology....

 was a nationally-known left-wing political activist who encouraged men not to register and personally refused to comply with the draft procedures. He rejected the Army Review Board proposal that he do noncombatant farm work. Sentenced to 25 years in prison he again refused a proposed desk job. He was pardoned and released in November of 1920 with a "dishonorable discharge."

Interwar


The draft ended in 1918 but the Army designed the modern draft mechanism in 1926 and built it based on military needs despite an era of pacifism. Working where Congress would not, it gathered a cadre of officers for its nascent Joint Army-Navy Selective Service Committee, most of whom were commissioned based on social standing rather than military experience. This effort did not receive congressionally approved funding until 1934 when Major Lewis B. Hershey was assigned to the organization. The passage of a conscription act was opposed by some, including Dorothy Day
Dorothy Day
Dorothy Day was an American journalist, social activist and devout Catholic convert; she advocated the Catholic economic theory of Distributism. She was also considered to be an anarchist, and did not hesitate to use the term...

 and George Barry O'Toole, who were concerned that such conscription would not provide adequate protection for the rights of conscientious objectors. However, much of Hershey's work was codified into law with the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940
Selective Training and Service Act of 1940
The Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, also known as the Burke-Wadsworth Act, was passed by the Congress of the United States on September 17, 1940, becoming the first peacetime conscription in United States history when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed it into law two days later...

 (STSA).

World War II


By the summer of 1940, as Germany conquered France
Battle of France
In the Second World War, the Battle of France was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries, beginning on 10 May 1940, which ended the Phoney War. The battle consisted of two main operations. In the first, Fall Gelb , German armoured units pushed through the Ardennes, to cut off and...

, Americans supported the return of conscription. One national survey found that 67% of respondents believed that a German
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

-Italian
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

 victory would endanger the United States, and that 71% supported "the immediate adoption of compulsory military training for all young men". Similarly, a November 1942 survey of American high-school students found that 69% favored compulsory postwar military training.

The World War I system served as a model for that of World War II. The 1940 STSA instituted national conscription in peacetime, requiring registration of all men between 21 and 45, with selection for one year's service by a national lottery. The term of service was extended by one year in August 1941. After Pearl Harbor the STSA was further amended (December 19, 1941), extending the term of service to the duration of the war and six months and requiring the registration of all men 18 to 64 years of age. In the massive draft of World War II, 50 million men from 18 to 45 were registered, 36 million classified, and 10 million inducted.

President Roosevelt's signing of the STSA on September 16, 1940 began the first peacetime draft in the United States. It also established the Selective Service System as an independent agency responsible for identifying and inducting young men into military service. Roosevelt named Hershey to head the Selective Service on July 31, 1941 where he remained until 1969. This preparatory act came when other preparations, such as increased training and equipment production, had not yet been approved. Nevertheless, it served as the basis for the conscription programs that would continue to the present. The act set a cap of 900,000 men to be in training at any given time and limited military service to 12 months. An amendment increased this to 18 months in 1941. Later legislation amended the act to require all men from 18 to 65 to register with those aged 18 to 45 being immediately liable for induction. Service commitments for inductees were set at the length of the war plus six months. As manpower need increased during World War II, draftees were inducted into the Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 as well as the Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

.

By 1942, the SSS moved away from administrative selection by its more than 4,000 local boards
Draft board
Draft Board was a part of the Selective Service Act which registered and selected men of military age for conscription in the United States-Local Board:...

 to a system of lottery selection. Rather than filling quotas by local selection, the boards now ensured proper processing of men selected by the lottery. On 5 December 1942 a presidential executive order
Executive order
An executive order in the United States is an order issued by the President, the head of the executive branch of the federal government. In other countries, similar edicts may be known as decrees, or orders in council. Executive orders may also be issued at the state level by a state's governor or...

 changed the age range for the draft from 21-45 to 18-38, and ended voluntary enlistment. Paul V. McNutt
Paul V. McNutt
Paul Vories McNutt was an American politician who served as the 34th Governor of Indiana during the Great Depression, high commissioner to the Philippines, administrator of the Federal Security Agency, chairman of the War Manpower Commission and ambassador to the Philippines.-Family and...

, head of the War Manpower Commission
War Manpower Commission
The War Manpower Commission was a World War II agency of the United States Government charged with planning to balance the labor needs of agriculture, industry and the armed forces. It was created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Executive Order 9139 of April 18, 1942. Its chairman was Paul V...

, estimated that the changes would incease the ratio of men drafted from one out of nine to one out of five. The commission's goal was to have nine million men in the armed forces by the end of 1943. This facilitated the massive requirement of up to 200,000 men per month and would remain the standard for the length of the war. The World War II draft operated from 1940 until 1947 when its legislative authorization expired without further extension by Congress. During this time, more than 11 million men had been inducted into military service. With the expiration, no inductions occurred in 1947. However, the SSS remained
intact.

Opposition


Scattered opposition was encountered especially in the northern cities where African-Americans protested the system. The young Nation of Islam
Nation of Islam
The Nation of Islam is a mainly African-American new religious movement founded in Detroit, Michigan by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad in July 1930 to improve the spiritual, mental, social, and economic condition of African-Americans in the United States of America. The movement teaches black pride and...

 was at the forefront, with many Black Muslims jailed for refusing the draft, and their leader Elijah Muhammed was sentenced to federal prison for inciting draft resistance. American Communists also opposed support for the war until Germany attacked the Soviet Union
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

 in June 1941, whereupon they became supporters.

Conscientious objectors


Of the more than 72,000 men registering as conscientious objector
Conscientious objector
A conscientious objector is an "individual who has claimed the right to refuse to perform military service" on the grounds of freedom of thought, conscience, and/or religion....

s (CO), nearly 52,000 received CO status. Of these, over 25,000 entered the military in noncombatant roles, another 12,000 went to civilian work camps, and nearly 6,000 went to prison. Draft evasion only accounted for about 4% of the total inducted. About 373,000 alleged evaders were investigated with just over 16,000 being imprisoned.

Cold War


The second peacetime draft began with passage of the Selective Service Act of 1948
Selective Service Act of 1948
The Selective Service Act of 1948, also known as the Elston Act, , was a major revision of the Articles of War of the United States and established the current implementation of the Selective Service System...

 after the STSA expired. The new law required all men, ages 18 to 26, to register. It also created the system for the "Doctor Draft" aimed at inducting health professionals into military service. Unless otherwise exempted or deferred, these men could be called for up to 21 months of active duty and five years of reserve duty service. Congress further tweaked this act in 1950 although the post–World War II surplus of military manpower left little need for draft calls until Truman’s declaration of national emergency in December 1950. Only 20,348 men were inducted in 1948 and only 9,781 in 1949.

Between the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

's outbreak in June 1950 and 1953, Selective Service inducted 1,529,539 men. Another 1.3 million volunteered. Most joined the Navy and Air Force. Congress passed the Universal Military Training and Service Act in 1951 to meet the demands of the war. It lowered the induction age to 18½ and extended active-duty service commitments to 24 months. Despite the early combat failures and later stalemate in Korea, the draft has been credited by some as playing a vital role in turning the tide of war. A February 1953 Gallup Poll showed 70 percent of Americans surveyed felt the SSS handled the draft fairly. Notably, the demographic including all draft age men (males 21 to 29) reported 64 percent believed the draft to be fair.

To increase equity in the system, President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 signed an executive order on July 11, 1953 that ended the paternity deferment for married men. In large part, the change in the draft served the purposes of the burgeoning Cold War. From a program that had just barely passed Congressional muster during the fearful prelude to World War II, a more robust draft continued as fears now focused on the Soviet threat. Nevertheless, some dissenting voices in Congress continued to appeal to the history of voluntary American military service as preferable for a democracy.

The United States breathed easier with the Korean Armistice in 1953; however, technology brought new promises and threats. U.S. air and nuclear power fueled the Eisenhower doctrine of "massive retaliation." This strategy demanded more machines
and fewer foot soldiers, so the draft slipped to the back burner. However, the head of the SSS, Maj. Gen. Hershey, urged caution fearing the conflict looming in Vietnam. In May 1953, he told his state directors to do everything possible to keep SSS
alive in order to meet upcoming needs.

Following the Armistice, Congress passed the Reserve Forces Act of 1955 with the aim of improving National Guard and federal reserve readiness while also constraining its use by the president. Towards this end, it mandated a six-year service
commitment, in a combination of reserve and active duty time, for every line military member regardless of their means of entry. Meanwhile, the SSS kept itself alive by devising and managing a complex system of deferments for a swelling pool of candidates
during a period of shrinking requirements. The greatest challenge to the draft came not from protesters but rather lobbyists seeking additional deferments for their constituency groups such as scientists and farmers.

Government leaders felt the potential for a draft was a critical element in maintaining a constant flow of volunteers. On numerous occasions Gen. Hershey told Congress for every man drafted, three or four more were scared into volunteering. Assuming his assessment was accurate, this would mean over 11 million men volunteered for service because of the draft between January 1954 and April 1975.

The policy of using the draft as a club to force "voluntary" enlistment was unique in U.S. history. Previous drafts had not aimed at encouraging individuals to sign up in order to gain preferential placement or less dangerous postings. However, the incremental
buildup of Vietnam without a clear threat to the country bolstered this. Some estimates suggest conscription encompassed almost one-third of all eligible men during the period of 1965-69. This group represented those without exemption or resources to avoid military service. During the active combat phase, the possibility of avoiding combat by selecting their service and military specialty led as many as four out of 11 million eligible men to enlist. The military relied upon this draft-induced volunteerism to make its quotas, especially the Army, which accounted for nearly 95 percent of all inductees during Vietnam. For
example, defense recruiting reports show 34% of the recruits in 1964 up to 50% in 1970 indicated they joined to avoid adverse placement via the draft. These rates dwindled to 24% in 1972 and 15% in 1973 after the change to a lottery system. Accounting for other factors, it can be argued up to 60 percent of those who served throughout the Vietnam War did so directly or indirectly because of the draft.

In addition, deferments provided an incentive for men to follow pursuits considered useful to the state. This process, known as channeling, helped push men into educational, occupational, and family choices they might not otherwise have
pursued. Undergraduate degrees were valued. Graduate work had varying value over time, though technical and religious training received near constant support. War industry support in the form of teaching, research, or skilled labor also received deferred
or exempt status. Finally, marriage and family were exempted because of its positive societal consequences. This included using presidential orders to extend exemptions again to fathers and others. Channeling was also seen as a means of preempting the early loss of the country’s “best and brightest” who had historically joined and died early in war.

In the only extended period of military conscription of U.S. males during a major peacetime period, the draft continued on a more limited basis during the late 1950s and early 1960s. While a far smaller percentage of eligible males were conscripted compared to war periods, draftees by law served in the Army for two years. Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King"....

 and Willie Mays
Willie Mays
Willie Howard Mays, Jr. is a retired American professional baseball player who played the majority of his major league career with the New York and San Francisco Giants before finishing with the New York Mets. Nicknamed The Say Hey Kid, Mays was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979, his...

 were two of the most famous people drafted during this period.

Public protests in the United States were few during the Korean War. However, the percentage of CO exemptions for inductees grew to 1.5% compared to a rate of just .5% in the past two wars. The Justice Department also investigated more than 80,000
draft evasion cases.

Vietnam War


President Kennedy's decision to send military troops to Vietnam as "advisors" was a signal that Selective Service Director Lewis B. Hershey needed to visit the Oval Office. From that visit emerged two wishes of JFK with regard to conscription. The first was that the names of married men with children should occupy the very bottom of the callup list. Just above them should be the names of men who are married. This Presidential policy, however, was not to be formally encoded into Selective Service Status. Men who fit into these categories became known as Kennedy Husbands. When President Lyndon Johnson decided to rescind this Kennedy policy, all across the country there was a last minute rush to the altar by thousands of couples.

Many early rank and file anti-conscription protesters had been allied with the National Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy. The completion in 1963 of a Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty left a mass of undirected youth in search of a cause. Syndicated cartoonist Al Capp portrayed them as S.W.I.N.E, (Students Wildly Indignant about Nearly Everything). The catalyst for protest reconnection was the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
The Tonkin Gulf Resolution was a joint resolution which the United States Congress passed on August 10, 1964 in response to a sea battle between the North Vietnamese Navy's Torpedo Squadron 10135 and the destroyer on August 2 and an alleged second naval engagement between North Vietnamese boats...

.

Consequently, there was some opposition to the draft even before the major U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 began. The large cohort of Baby Boomers who became eligible for military service during the Vietnam War also meant a steep increase in the number of exemptions and deferments, especially for college and graduate students. Furthermore, college graduates who volunteered for military service and even (to a lesser degree) those who were drafted had a much better chance of securing a preferential posting compared to less-educated draftees. This was a source of considerable resentment among poor and working class young men, who could not afford a college education.


As U.S. troop strength in Vietnam increased, more young men were drafted for service there, and many of those still at home sought means of avoiding the draft. Since only a handful of National Guard and Reserve units were sent to Vietnam, enlistment in the Guard or the Reserves became a favored means of draft avoidance. Vocations to the ministry and the rabbinate soared, because divinity students were exempt from the draft. Doctors and draft board
Draft board
Draft Board was a part of the Selective Service Act which registered and selected men of military age for conscription in the United States-Local Board:...

 members found themselves being pressured by relatives or family friends to exempt potential draftees.

Some conscientious objectors objected to the war based on the theory of Just War
Just War
Just war theory is a doctrine of military ethics of Roman philosophical and Catholic origin, studied by moral theologians, ethicists and international policy makers, which holds that a conflict ought to meet philosophical, religious or political criteria.-Origins:The concept of justification for...

. One of these, Stephen Spiro
Stephen Spiro
Stephen Spiro was a political activist known for his opposition against the Vietnam War and his advocacy of a consistent life ethic. Opposing the Vietnam war based on the theory of Just War, he objected to being conscripted, but as the law only allowed for conscientious objection to all wars, he...

, was convicted of avoiding the draft, but given a suspended sentence of five years. He was later pardoned by President Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr. was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974...

.

According to the Veteran's Administration, 9.2 million men served in the military between 1964 and 1975. Nearly 3.5 million men served in the Vietnam theater of operations. From a pool of approximately 27 million, the draft raised 2,215,000 men for military service during the Vietnam era. It has also been credited with "encouraging" many of the 8.7 million "volunteers" to join rather than risk being drafted.

Of the nearly 16 million men not engaged in active military service, 96% were exempted (typically because of jobs including other military service), deferred (usually for educational reasons), or disqualified (usually for physical and mental deficiencies but also for criminal records to include draft violations). Draft offenders in the last category numbered nearly 500,000 but less than 10,000 were convicted or imprisoned for draft violations. Finally, as many as 100,000 draft eligible males fled the country.

End of conscription


During the 1968 presidential election
United States presidential election, 1968
The United States presidential election of 1968 was the 46th quadrennial United States presidential election. Coming four years after Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson won in a historic landslide, it saw Johnson forced out of the race and Republican Richard Nixon elected...

, Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 campaigned on a promise to end the draft. He had first become interested in the idea of an all-volunteer army during his time out of office, based upon a paper by Professor Martin Anderson
Martin Anderson (economist)
Martin Anderson is an economist, policy analyst, author and was one of President Ronald Reagan's leading advisors.-Biography:Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, August 5, 1936 He received his A.B. from Dartmouth College in 1957, his M.S...

 of Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

. Nixon also saw ending the draft as an effective way to undermine the anti-Vietnam war movement, since he believed affluent youths would stop protesting the war once their own probability of having to fight in it was gone. There was opposition to the all-volunteer notion from both the Department of Defense and Congress, so Nixon took no immediate action towards ending the draft early in his presidency.

Instead, the Gates Commission was formed, headed by Thomas S. Gates, Jr., a former Secretary of Defense in the Eisenhower administration. Gates initially opposed the all-volunteer army idea, but changed his mind during the course of the 15-member commission's work. The Gates Commission issued its report in February 1970, describing how adequate military strength could be maintained without having conscription. The existing draft law was expiring at the end of June 1971, but the Department of Defense and Nixon administration decided the draft needed to continue for at least some time. In February 1971, the administration requested of Congress a two-year extension of the draft, to June 1973.

Senatorial opponents of the war wanted to reduce this to a one-year extension, or eliminate the draft altogether, or tie the draft renewal to a timetable for troop withdrawal from Vietnam; Senator Mike Gravel
Mike Gravel
Maurice Robert "Mike" Gravel is a former Democratic United States Senator from Alaska, who served two terms from 1969 to 1981, and a former candidate in the 2008 presidential election....

 of Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

 took the most forceful approach, trying to filibuster
Filibuster
A filibuster is a type of parliamentary procedure. Specifically, it is the right of an individual to extend debate, allowing a lone member to delay or entirely prevent a vote on a given proposal...

 the draft renewal legislation, shut down conscription, and directly force an end to the war. Senators supporting Nixon's war efforts supported the bill, even though some had qualms about ending the draft. After a prolonged battle in the Senate, in September 1971 cloture
Cloture
In parliamentary procedure, cloture is a motion or process aimed at bringing debate to a quick end. It is also called closure or, informally, a guillotine. The cloture procedure originated in the French National Assembly, from which the name is taken. Clôture is French for "ending" or "conclusion"...

 was achieved over the filibuster and the draft renewal bill was approved. Meanwhile, military pay was increased as an incentive to attract volunteers, and television advertising for the U.S. Army began. With the end of active U.S. ground participation in Vietnam, December 1972 saw the last men conscripted, who were born in 1952 and who reported for duty in June 1973. On February 2, 1972, a drawing was held to determine draft priority numbers for men born in 1953, but in early 1973 it was announced that no further draft orders would be issued. In March 1973, 1974, and 1975 the Selective Service assigned draft priority numbers for all men born in 1954, 1955, and 1956, in case the draft was extended, but it never was.

Post-1980 draft registration


In 1980, Congress re-instated the requirement that young men register with the Selective Service System
Selective Service System
The Selective Service System is a means by which the United States government maintains information on those potentially subject to military conscription. Most male U.S. citizens and male immigrant non-citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 are required by law to have registered within 30 days of...

. At that time it was required that all males, born on or after January 1, 1960 register with the Selective Service System. The Selective Service System describes its mission as "...to serve the emergency manpower needs of the Military by conscripting untrained manpower, or personnel with professional health care skills, if directed by Congress and the President in a national crisis." Registration forms are available either online or at any U.S. Post Office
United States Postal Service
The United States Postal Service is an independent agency of the United States government responsible for providing postal service in the United States...

.

The Selective Service registration form states that failure to register is a felony
Felony
A felony is a serious crime in the common law countries. The term originates from English common law where felonies were originally crimes which involved the confiscation of a convicted person's land and goods; other crimes were called misdemeanors...

 punishable by up to five years imprisonment or a $250,000 fine. In practice, no one has been prosecuted for failure to comply with draft registration since 1986, in part because prosecutions of draft resisters proved counter-productive for the government, and in part because of the difficulty of proving that noncompliance with the law was "knowing and willful." Many people do not register at all, register late, or change addresses without notifying the Selective Service System. Not registering can (technically) also lead to loss of federal employment, sometimes after the registration window has already passed. However, only a few of such cases have been reported so far. Refusing to register can also cause a loss of eligibility for federal financial aid for college.

Health Care Personnel


On December 1, 1989, Congress ordered the Selective Service System to put in place a system capable of drafting "persons qualified for practice or employment in a health care and professional occupation", if such a special-skills draft should be ordered by Congress. In response, Selective Service published plans for the "Health Care Personnel Delivery System " (HCPDS) in 1989 and has had them ready ever since. The concept underwent a preliminary field exercise in Fiscal Year 1998, followed by a more extensive nationwide readiness exercise in Fiscal Year 1999. The HCPDS plans include women and men ages 20–54 in 57 different job categories. As of May 2003, the Defense Department has said the most likely form of draft is a special skills draft, probably of health care workers.

Legality


In 1918, the Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 ruled that the World War I draft did not violate the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

. Arver v. United States, 245 U.S. 366 (1918). The Court summarized the history of conscription in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 and in colonial America, a history that it read as establishing that the Framers
Founding Fathers of the United States
The Founding Fathers of the United States of America were political leaders and statesmen who participated in the American Revolution by signing the United States Declaration of Independence, taking part in the American Revolutionary War, establishing the United States Constitution, or by some...

 envisioned compulsory military service as a governmental power. It held that the Constitution's grant to Congress of the powers to declare war and to create standing armies included the power to mandate conscription. It rejected arguments based on states' rights, the 13th Amendment
Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished and continues to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, passed by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865. On...

, and other provisions of the Constitution.

Later, during the Vietnam War, a lower appellate court
United States court of appeals
The United States courts of appeals are the intermediate appellate courts of the United States federal court system...

 also concluded that the draft was constitutional. United States v. Holmes, 387 F.2d 781 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 391 U.S. 936 (1968). (Justice William O. Douglas
William O. Douglas
William Orville Douglas was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. With a term lasting 36 years and 209 days, he is the longest-serving justice in the history of the Supreme Court...

, in voting to hear the appeal in Holmes, agreed that the government had the authority to employ conscription in wartime, but argued that the constitutionality of a draft in the absence of a declaration of war was an open question, which the Supreme Court should address.)

During the World War I era, the Supreme Court allowed the government great latitude in suppressing criticism of the draft. Examples include Schenck v. United States
Schenck v. United States
Schenck v. United States, , was a United States Supreme Court decision that upheld the Espionage Act of 1917 and concluded that a defendant did not have a First Amendment right to express freedom of speech against the draft during World War I. Ultimately, the case established the "clear and present...

, 249 U.S. 47 (1919) and Gilbert v. Minnesota, 254 U.S. 325 (1920). In subsequent decades, however, the Court has taken a much broader view of the extent to which advocacy speech is protected by the First Amendment
First Amendment to the United States Constitution
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering...

. Thus, in 1971 the Court held it unconstitutional for a state to punish a man who entered a county courthouse wearing a jacket with the words "Fuck the Draft" visible on it. Cohen v. California
Cohen v. California
Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 was a United States Supreme Court case dealing with freedom of speech. The Court overturned a disturbing the peace conviction of a man wearing a jacket decorated with profanity.-Background of the case:...

, 403 U.S. 15 (1971). Nevertheless, protesting the draft by the specific means of burning a draft registration card
Draft-card burning
Draft-card burning was a symbol of protest performed by thousands of young American men as part of the opposition to the involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War. Beginning in May 1964, some activists burned their draft cards at anti-war rallies and demonstrations. By May 1965 it was...

 can be constitutionally prohibited, because of the government's interest in prohibiting the "nonspeech" element involved in destroying the card. United States v. O'Brien
United States v. O'Brien
United States v. O'Brien, 391 U.S. 367 , was a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States, which ruled that a criminal prohibition against burning a draft card did not violate the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech...

, 391 U.S. 367 (1968).

In 1981, several men filed lawsuit in the case Rostker v. Goldberg
Rostker v. Goldberg
Rostker v. Goldberg, 453 U.S. 57 , was a decision of the United States Supreme Court holding that the practice of requiring only men to register for the draft was constitutional....

, alleging that the Military Selective Service Act violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment
Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, protects against abuse of government authority in a legal procedure. Its guarantees stem from English common law which traces back to the Magna Carta in 1215...

 by requiring that men only and not also women register with the Selective Service System. The Supreme Court upheld the act, stating that Congress's "decision to exempt women was not the accidental byproduct of a traditional way of thinking about women," that "since women are excluded from combat service by statute or military policy, men and women are simply not similarly situated for purposes of a draft or registration for a draft, and Congress' decision to authorize the registration of only men therefore does not violate the Due Process Clause," and that "the argument for registering women was based on considerations of equity, but Congress was entitled, in the exercise of its constitutional powers, to focus on the question of military need, rather than 'equity.'" Objectors stated that the majority of military roles were non-combat-related, however.

Conscientious objection


According to the Selective Service System,
A conscientious objector is one who is opposed to serving in the armed forces and/or bearing arms on the grounds of moral or religious principles.
[...]
Beliefs which qualify a registrant for CO status may be religious in nature, but don't have to be. Beliefs may be moral or ethical; however, a man's reasons for not wanting to participate in a war must not be based on politics, expediency, or self-interest. In general, the man's lifestyle prior to making his claim must reflect his current claims.


The Supreme Court has ruled in cases United States v. Seeger (1965) and Welsh v. United States (1970) that conscientious objection can be by non-religious beliefs as well as religious beliefs; but it has also ruled in Gillette v. United States (1971) against objections to specific wars as grounds for conscientious objection.

There is currently no mechanism to indicate that one is a conscientious objector in the Selective Service system. According to the SSS, after a person is drafted, he can claim Conscientious Objector
Conscientious objector
A conscientious objector is an "individual who has claimed the right to refuse to perform military service" on the grounds of freedom of thought, conscience, and/or religion....

 status and then justify it before the Local Board. This is criticized because during the times of a draft, when the country is in emergency conditions, there could be increased pressure for Local Boards to be more harsh on conscientious objector claims.

There are two types of status for conscientious objectors. If a person only objects to combat but not to service in the military, then the person could be given noncombatant service in the military without training of weapons. If they object to all military service, then they could be given "alternative service
Alternative Service Program
The Alternative Service Program is a form of alternative service for conscientious objectors in the United States within its Selective Service System.-Official definition:...

" with a job "deemed to make a meaningful contribution to the maintenance of the national health, safety, and interest".

Selective Service reforms


The Selective Service System has maintained that they have implemented several reforms that would make the draft more fair and equitable.

Some of the measures they have implemented include:
  • Before and during the Vietnam War, a young man could get a deferment by showing that he was a full-time student making satisfactory progress towards a degree; now deferment only lasts to the end of the semester. If the man is a senior he can defer until the end of the academic year.
  • The government has said that draft boards are now more representative of the local communities in areas such as race and national origin.
  • A lottery system would be used to determine the order of people being called up. Previously the oldest men who were found eligible for the draft would be taken first. In the new system, the men called first would be those who are or will turn 20 in the calendar year or those whose deferments will end in the calendar year. Each year after the man will be placed on a lower priority status until his liability ends.

Perception of the draft as unfair


Some people feel that the draft is fundamentally unfair (or illegal in a way) because only males must register with the Selective Service. Many masculists
Masculism
Masculism may refer to political, cultural, and economic movements aimed at establishing and defending political, economic, and social rights and participation in society for men and boys. These rights include legal issues, such as those of conscription, child custody, alimony, and equal pay for...

 as well as feminists hold this view. For example, the National Organization for Women
National Organization for Women
The National Organization for Women is the largest feminist organization in the United States. It was founded in 1966 and has a membership of 500,000 contributing members. The organization consists of 550 chapters in all 50 U.S...

, a feminist organization, passed a resolution in 1980 opposing males-only draft registration as discriminatory, and the American Civil Liberties Union's
American Civil Liberties Union
The American Civil Liberties Union is a U.S. non-profit organization whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." It works through litigation, legislation, and...

 Women's Rights Project provided aid to the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case Rostker v. Goldberg
Rostker v. Goldberg
Rostker v. Goldberg, 453 U.S. 57 , was a decision of the United States Supreme Court holding that the practice of requiring only men to register for the draft was constitutional....

, in which the plaintiff unsuccessfully challenged males-only draft registration. Congress retains the right to conscript women and considered doing so during the Second World War.

Other discriminating factors regarding conscription include age, with a preference for younger draftees, and residency, since only those in the U.S. may be drafted.

The draft has been perceived by some as unfairly targeting the poor and lower middle classes. Because of college deferments, children of wealthy and upper middle class families that could afford to send them to college could avoid the draft. The fact that President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 had been attending college during the time period in which conscription was active and received a collegiate deferment caused controversy during his campaigns and during his time in office (however, Clinton did not come from a rich family). Similar controversy has surrounded prominent figures in the Bush Administration
George W. Bush administration
The presidency of George W. Bush began on January 20, 2001, when he was inaugurated as the 43rd President of the United States of America. The oldest son of former president George H. W. Bush, George W...

, such as Dick Cheney
Dick Cheney
Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney served as the 46th Vice President of the United States , under George W. Bush....

 and Paul Wolfowitz
Paul Wolfowitz
Paul Dundes Wolfowitz is a former United States Ambassador to Indonesia, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, President of the World Bank, and former dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University...

.

During the Vietnam War, some children of wealthy families wished to avoid a perception of avoiding military service. Those individuals often signed up for the National Guard
United States National Guard
The National Guard of the United States is a reserve military force composed of state National Guard militia members or units under federally recognized active or inactive armed force service for the United States. Militia members are citizen soldiers, meaning they work part time for the National...

, which at the time seldom sent troops overseas. The fact that some were able to use their family's connections to gain a position when spots in the Guard were limited also led to a perception that the wealthy were using the National Guard to ensure that their children were assigned low-risk duty in the U.S. Much as President Clinton's obtainment of a deferment based on his attendance of college caused controversy, President George W. Bush's
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 service in the National Guard during the Vietnam War also attracted controversy
George W. Bush military service controversy
George W. Bush's National Guard service was an issue in the 2000 presidential campaign and in the 2004 presidential campaign. A controversy centered on questions of how George W...

 during his election campaigns.

During the Vietnam Era it was often quite easy for those with some knowledge of the system (or from guidance by draft counselors and draft attorneys) to avoid being drafted, or to defend prosecutions by submitting themselves to induction after indictment, and then being found disqualified. A simple route, widely publicized, was to get a medical rejection. This was possible because the draft laws after World War II mandated that the medical standards for conscription should not be less stringent than they were during the war. However, advances in diagnostic medicine led to a much larger pool of young men being subject to disqualification. (Homosexuality
Homosexuality
Homosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectional, or romantic attractions" primarily or exclusively to people of the same...

 was also a disqualifying condition, although most men did not wish to assert this status during that era.) Men who received induction notices could often manipulate where they were examined by showing up at induction centers far away from their actual residences on the mandated date for examination (either for a pre-induction physical or the induction physical examination). It was advantageous to be examined in induction centers adjacent to heavily populated metropolitan areas, where it often was not worth the Army's time to dispute their claims.

Conversely the poor and uneducated were often conscripted without any understanding of how to escape the system. However, many law schools, notably Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

, had draft counseling centers where law students helped young men in poorer areas assert their rights and seek exemptions from induction.

U.S. Representative Charles Rangel
Charles B. Rangel
Charles Bernard "Charlie" Rangel is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1971. A member of the Democratic Party, he is the third-longest currently serving member of the House of Representatives. As its most senior member, he is also the Dean of New York's congressional delegation...

 argued in 2004 that poor men were far more apt to enlist for military service. He called for a reinstatement of the draft to ensure service in the Iraq War was spread equally among the rich and poor. After the November 2006 elections, Rangel again suggested the draft be renewed, this time because he thought it was less likely that a republic with conscription would engage in preemptive wars such as the current American military involvement in Iraq.

The provisions for conscientious objection to the draft have also been viewed as unfairly discriminatory, favoring religious objection over non-religious objection. Alternative mandatory service can assuage objections based on peace and non-violence but does nothing for those whose objections arise from strongly held convictions about freedom.

Conscription controversies since 2003


No attempt to reinstate conscription, since the effort to enforce Selective Service registration law was abandoned in 1986, has been able to attract much support in the legislature or among the public. Since early 2003, when the Iraq War appeared imminent, there have been attempts through legislation
Legislation
Legislation is law which has been promulgated by a legislature or other governing body, or the process of making it...

 and campaign
Political campaign
A political campaign is an organized effort which seeks to influence the decision making process within a specific group. In democracies, political campaigns often refer to electoral campaigns, wherein representatives are chosen or referendums are decided...

 rhetoric
Rhetoric
Rhetoric is the art of discourse, an art that aims to improve the facility of speakers or writers who attempt to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations. As a subject of formal study and a productive civic practice, rhetoric has played a central role in the Western...

 to begin a new public conversation on the topic. Public opinion since 1973 has been largely negative, and the majority of proposals appear to be motivated by either concerns of fairness in who serves or of public officials withdrawing their support for a war for fear their children would have to serve in the line of fire.

In 2003, several Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 congressmen (Charles Rangel of New York, Jim McDermott
Jim McDermott
James Adelbert "Jim" McDermott is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1989. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The 7th District includes most of Seattle and Vashon Island, and portions of Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Tukwila, SeaTac, and Burien.He serves on the House Ways and Means...

 of Washington, John Conyers
John Conyers
John Conyers, Jr. is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1965 . He is a member of the Democratic Party...

 of Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

, John Lewis
John Lewis (politician)
John Robert Lewis is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1987. He was a leader in the American Civil Rights Movement and chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee , playing a key role in the struggle to end segregation...

 of Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, Pete Stark
Pete Stark
Fortney Hillman "Pete" Stark, Jr. is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1973. He is a member of the Democratic Party. Currently he is the 5th most senior Representative, as well as 6th most senior member of Congress overall...

 of California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, Neil Abercrombie
Neil Abercrombie
Neil Abercrombie is the 7th and current Governor of Hawaii. He was the Democratic U.S. Representative of the First Congressional District of Hawaii which comprises urban Honolulu. He served in Congress from 1986 to 1987 and from 1991 to 2010 when he resigned to successfully run for governor...

 of Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

) introduced legislation
Universal National Service Act
The Universal National Service Act is the name of at least four bills proposed in the United States Congress . The Universal National Service Act of 2007 is primarily sponsored by Congressman Charles Rangel of New York. Advocates for National Service include Senator Chris Dodd, Professor and A...

 that would draft both men and women into either military or civilian government service, should there be a draft in the future. The Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 majority leadership suddenly considered the bill, nine months after its introduction, without a report from the Armed Services Committee
United States House Committee on Armed Services
thumb|United States House Committee on Armed Services emblemThe U.S. House Committee on Armed Services, commonly known as the House Armed Services Committee, is a standing committee of the United States House of Representatives...

 (to which it had been referred), and just one month prior to the 2004 presidential and congressional elections
United States presidential election, 2004
The United States presidential election of 2004 was the United States' 55th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2004. Republican Party candidate and incumbent President George W. Bush defeated Democratic Party candidate John Kerry, the then-junior U.S. Senator...

. The Republican leadership used an expedited parliamentary procedure
Suspension of the rules
Suspension of the rules in the United States Congress is the specific set of procedures within the United States Congress that allows for the general parliamentary procedure notion of how and when to suspend the rules.-Overview:...

 that would have required a two-thirds vote
Supermajority
A supermajority or a qualified majority is a requirement for a proposal to gain a specified level or type of support which exceeds a simple majority . In some jurisdictions, for example, parliamentary procedure requires that any action that may alter the rights of the minority has a supermajority...

 for passage of the bill. The bill was defeated on October 5, 2004, with two members voting for it and 402 members voting against.

In 2004 the platforms of both the Democratic and Republican parties opposed military conscription, but neither party moved to end draft registration. John Kerry
John Kerry
John Forbes Kerry is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, the 10th most senior U.S. Senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election, but lost to former President George W...

 in one debate criticized Bush's policies, "You've got stop-loss policies so people can't get out when they were supposed to. You've got a backdoor draft right now."

This statement was in reference to the Department of Defense use of "stop-loss"
Stop-loss policy
Stop-loss is a term primarily used in the United States military. In the U.S. military, it is the involuntary extension of a service member's active duty service under the enlistment contract in order to retain them beyond their initial end of term of service date and up to their contractually...

 orders, which have extended the Active Duty periods of some military personnel. All enlistees, upon entering the service, volunteer for a minimum eight-year Military Service Obligation (MSO). This MSO is split between a minimum active duty period, followed by a reserve period where enlistees may be called back to active duty for the remainder of the eight years. Some of these active duty extensions have been for as long as two years. The Pentagon stated that as of August 24, 2004, 20,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines had been affected. As of January 31, 2006 it has been reported that more than 50,000 soldiers and reservists had been affected.

Despite arguments by defense leaders that they had no interest in re-instituting the draft, Representative Neil Abercrombie's (D-HI) inclusion of a DOD memo in the Congressional Record which detailed a meeting by senior leaders signaled renewed interest. Though the conclusion of the meeting memo did not call for a reinstatement of the draft, it did suggest Selective Service Act modifications to include registration by women and self-reporting of critical skills that could serve to meet military, homeland-defense, and humanitarian needs. This hinted at more targeted draft options being considered, perhaps like that of the “Doctor Draft” that began in the 1950s to provide nearly 66% of the medical professionals who served in the Army in Korea. Once created, this manpower tool continued to be used through 1972. The meeting memo gave DOD’s primary reason for opposing a draft as a matter of cost effectiveness and efficiency. Draftees with less than two years' retention were said to be a net drain on military resources providing insufficient benefit to offset overhead costs of using them.

Mentions of the draft during the presidential campaign led to a resurgence of anti-draft and draft resistance organizing. One poll of young voters in October 2004 found that 29% would resist if drafted.

In November 2006, Representative Charles Rangel again called for the draft to be reinstated; Speaker of the House
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, or Speaker of the House, is the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives...

 Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi is the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives and served as the 60th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011...

 rejected the proposal.

On December 19, 2006, President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 announced that he was considering sending more troops to Iraq. The next day, the Selective Service System's director for operations and chief information officer, Scott Campbell, announced plans for a "readiness exercise" to test the system's operations in 2009, for the first time since 1998.

On December 21, 2006, Veterans Affairs
United States Department of Veterans Affairs
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs is a government-run military veteran benefit system with Cabinet-level status. It is the United States government’s second largest department, after the United States Department of Defense...

 Secretary Jim Nicholson
Jim Nicholson (U.S. politician)
Robert James "Jim" Nicholson is an attorney, real estate developer, and a former Republican Party chairman. He was the United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs from January 26, 2005 until October 1, 2007.-Personal life:...

, when asked by a reporter whether the draft should be reinstated to make the military more equal, said, "I think that our society would benefit from that, yes sir." Nicholson proceeded to relate his experience as a company commander in an infantry unit which brought together soldiers of different socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels, noting that the draft "does bring people from all quarters of our society together in the common purpose of serving." Nicholson later issued a statement saying he does not support reinstating the draft.

On August 10, 2007, with National Public Radio on "All Things Considered," Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages where the title of Lieutenant General was held by the second in command on the battlefield, who was normally subordinate to a Captain General....

 Douglas Lute
Douglas Lute
Douglas Edward Lute, born November 3, 1952, is a service lieutenant general in the United States Army. On 15 May 2007, Lute was appointed by George W. Bush to serve as Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan, also known as the "War Czar", a senior...

, National Security
National security
National security is the requirement to maintain the survival of the state through the use of economic, diplomacy, power projection and political power. The concept developed mostly in the United States of America after World War II...

 Adviser to the President and Congress for all matters pertaining to the United States Military efforts in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 and Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, expressed support for a draft to alleviate the stress on the Army's all-volunteer force. He cited the fact that repeated deployments place much strain upon one soldier's family and himself which, in turn, can affect retention.

A similar bill to Rangel's 2003 one was introduced in 2007, called the Universal National Service Act of 2007 (H.R. 393), but it has not received a hearing or been scheduled for consideration.

Civilian service


Conscription has been used nationally only to provide men to the military. The most common form of compulsory civilian service in the U.S. is the much shorter obligation of jury duty
Jury duty
Jury duty is service as a juror in a legal proceeding. When a person is called for jury duty in the United States, that service is usually not optional: one must attend or face strict penalties. Employers are not allowed to fire an employee simply for being called to jury duty...

 for adults—however for minors, compulsory education is a form of conscription that not only affects only minors from the age of five years and up, but lasts up to twelve years, with ten years being the average requirement.

Mandatory public service of a non-military nature is likewise required as part of the high school curriculum in many school districts across the nation. Since 1992, the state of Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

 has required a total of 75 hours of "developmentally appropriate service-learning activities" over the course of grades 6 through 12. Each county in the state of Maryland makes its own requirement for the amount of community service a student has to complete to graduate from high school.

Mandatory full-time service on a national scale has been proposed many times and was backed by, for example, Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

. Recent proposals have been modeled after the Americorps
AmeriCorps
AmeriCorps is a U.S. federal government program that was created under President Bill Clinton by the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993 and later expanded by 50 percent under President George W. Bush...

 program, but necessarily much larger in scale when made mandatory. Robert Litan of the Brookings Institution
Brookings Institution
The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C., in the United States. One of Washington's oldest think tanks, Brookings conducts research and education in the social sciences, primarily in economics, metropolitan policy, governance, foreign policy, and...

 estimates the cost for a program of one year for all high school graduates at $25 billion.

Non-citizens


The Selective Service (and the draft) in the United States is not limited to citizens. Howard Stringer
Howard Stringer
Sir Howard Stringer is a Welsh-born American businessman and the chairman, president and CEO of Sony Corporation.-Personal life:...

 was drafted in 1965, six weeks after arriving from his native Britain. Today, non-citizen males of appropriate age in the United States, who are permanent residents (holders of Green Cards), seasonal agricultural workers, refugee
Refugee
A refugee is a person who outside her country of origin or habitual residence because she has suffered persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because she is a member of a persecuted 'social group'. Such a person may be referred to as an 'asylum seeker' until...

s, parolees, asylees, and even illegal immigrants
Illegal immigration to the United States
An illegal immigrant in the United States is an alien who has entered the United States without government permission or stayed beyond the termination date of a visa....

, are required to register with the Selective Service System. Refusal to do so is grounds for denial of a future citizenship application. In addition, immigrants who seek to naturalize
Naturalization
Naturalization is the acquisition of citizenship and nationality by somebody who was not a citizen of that country at the time of birth....

 as citizens must, as part of the Oath of Citizenship, swear to the following:

... that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law;


The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is a component of the United States Department of Homeland Security . It performs many administrative functions formerly carried out by the legacy United States Immigration and Naturalization Service , which was part of the Department of Justice...

 (USCIS) website also states however:

However since 1975, USCIS has allowed the oath to be taken without the clauses:

". . .that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by law...."


Non-citizens who serve in the United States military enjoy several naturalization benefits which are unavailable to non-citizens who do not, such as a waiver of application fees. Permanent resident aliens who die while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces may be naturalized posthumously, which may be beneficial to surviving family members.

See also

  • Conscription crisis
    Conscription crisis
    A conscription crisis is a public dispute about a policy of conscription, or mandatory service in the military, also known as a "draft". A dispute can become a crisis when submission to military service becomes highly controversial and popular revolt ensues...

  • Draft lottery (1969)
    Draft lottery (1969)
    On December 1, 1969, the Selective Service System of the United States conducted two lotteries to determine the order of call to military service in the Vietnam War for men born between 1944 and 1950...

  • National service
    National service
    National service is a common name for mandatory government service programmes . The term became common British usage during and for some years following the Second World War. Many young people spent one or more years in such programmes...

  • Peace Churches
    Peace churches
    Peace churches are Christian churches, groups or communities advocating Christian pacifism. The term historic peace churches refers specifically only to three church groups among pacifist churches: Church of the Brethren, Mennonites including the Amish, and Religious Society of Friends and has...

  • Selective Service System
    Selective Service System
    The Selective Service System is a means by which the United States government maintains information on those potentially subject to military conscription. Most male U.S. citizens and male immigrant non-citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 are required by law to have registered within 30 days of...

  • Service Nation
    Service Nation
    ServiceNation is the name of an organization campaign to increase support for expanding national service programs like the Peace Corps, Americorps, Senior Corps, and through service-learning experiences in schools and colleges...

  • Solomon Amendment
    Solomon Amendment
    The 1996 Solomon Amendment is the popular name of 10 U.S.C. § 983, a United States federal law that allows the Secretary of Defense to deny federal grants to institutions of higher education if they prohibit or prevent ROTC or military recruitment on campus.- History :Named for U.S. Representative...


American Revolution

  • Dougherty, Keith L. Collective Action under the Articles of Confederation. Cambridge U. Press, 2001. 211 pp.

Civil War

  • Bernstein, Iver. The New York City Draft Riots: Their Significance for American Society and Politics in the Age of the Civil War (1990). online edition
  • Cruz, Barbara C. and Jennifer Marques Patterson. "'In the Midst of Strange and Terrible Times': The New York City Draft Riots of 1863. Social Education. v. 69#1 2005. pp 10+, with teacher's guide and URL's. online version
  • Geary, James W. We Need Men: The Union Draft in the Civil War (1991) 264pp
  • Geary, James W. "Civil War Conscription in the North: A Historiographical Review," Civil War History 32 (1986): 208-28,
  • Hilderman, Walter C., III. They Went into the Fight Cheering! Confederate Conscription in North Carolina. Boone, N.C.: Parkway, 2005. 272 pp.
  • Hyman, Harold M. A More Perfect Union: The Impact of the Civil War and Reconstruction on the Constitution. (1973), ch 13. online edition
  • Levine, Peter. "Draft Evasion in the North during the Civil War, 1863-1865," Journal of American History 67 (1981): 816-34 online edition
  • Moore, Albert Burton. Conscription and Conflict in the Confederacy 1924 online edition
  • Murdoch, Eugene C. One Million Men: The Civil War Draft in the North (1971).
  • Wheeler, Kenneth H. "Local Autonomy and Civil War Draft Resistance: Holmes County, Ohio." Civil War History. v.45#2 1999. pp 147+ online edition

World War I

  • Chambers II, John Whiteclay. To Raise an Army: The Draft Comes to Modern America (1987), comprehensive look at the national level.
  • Ford, Nancy Gentile. "'Mindful of the Traditions of His Race': Dual Identity and Foreign-born Soldiers in the First World War American Army." Journal of American Ethnic History 1997 16(2): 35-57. Issn: 0278-5927 Fulltext: in Ebsco
  • Hickle, K. Walter. "'Justice and the Highest Kind of Equality Require Discrimination': Citizenship, Dependency, and Conscription in the South, 1917-1919." Journal of Southern History. v. 66#4 2000. pp 749+ online version
  • Keith, Jeanette. "The Politics of Southern Draft Resistance, 1917-1918: Class, Race, and Conscription in the Rural South." Journal of American History 2000 87(4): 1335-1361. Issn: 0021-8723 Fulltext: in Jstor and Ebsco
  • Keith, Jeanette. Rich Man's War, Poor Man's Fight: Race, Class, and Power in the Rural South during the First World War. 2004. 260pp.
  • Kennedy, David M. Over Here: The First Worm War and American Society (1980), ch 3 online edition
  • Shenk, Gerald E. "Race, Manhood, and Manpower: Mobilizing Rural Georgia for World War I," Georgia Historical Quarterly, 81 (Fall 1997), 622-62
  • Woodward, C. Vann. Tom Watson, Agrarian Rebel (1938), pp 451–63.
  • Sieger, Susan. "She Didn't Raise Her Boy to Be a Slacker: Motherhood, Conscription, and the Culture of the First World War." Feminist Studies. v.22#1 1996. pp 7+ online edition

World War II

  • Flynn, George Q. The Draft, 1940-1973. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1993; the standard history
  • Garry, Clifford J. and Samuel R. Spencer Jr. The First Peacetime Draft. 1986.
  • Goossen, Rachel Waltner; Women against the Good War: Conscientious Objection and Gender on the American Home Front, 1941-1947 1997 online edition
  • Westbrook, Robert. "'I Want a Girl Just Like the Girl That Married Harry James': American Women and the Problem of Political Obligation in WWII," American Quarterly 42 (December 1990 ): 587-614; online in JSTOR

Cold War and Vietnam

  • Flynn, George Q. The Draft, 1940-1973. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1993; the standard history

Recent

  • Halstead, Fred. GIs Speak out against the War: The Case of the Ft. Jackson 8. 128 pages. New York: Pathfinder Press. 1970.
  • Warner, John T. and Beth J. Asch. "The Record and Prospects of the All-volunteer Military in the United States." Journal of Economic Perspectives 2001 15(2): 169-192. Issn: 0895-3309 Fulltext: in Jstor and Ebsco
  • Wooten; Evan M. "Banging on the Backdoor Draft: The Constitutional Validity of Stop-Loss in the Military," William and Mary Law Review, Vol. 47, 2005 online version

Primary sources

  • Chambers II, John Whiteclay, ed. Draftees or Volunteers: A Documentary History of the Debate over Military Conscription in the United States, 1787–1973, (1975) (1976)

External links