Yes, We Still Need the Selective Service – Here’s Why

Yes, We Still Need the Selective Service, Here's Why

( – America’s military is the strongest in the world, and the country takes great strides to keep it this way. Only those who are mentally and physically fit may serve in any one of its branches. The draft used to be active in times of war. When battles ended, the draft ended. However, the Selective Service Act of 1917 remains in effect.

Selective Service Act of 1917

In 1917, Congress passed the Selective Service Act because it needed a way to expand the military on the cusp of World War I. Men between the ages of 21 and 45 had to register, and an astounding 24 million did so following the act. Of these, 2.8 million were drafted.

Why Do We Need the Selective Service?

The main reason we still need Selective Service is to ensure that should America go to war, she has enough qualified personnel to staff each branch to ensure national security. Building a strong military is next to impossible without volunteers. In the absence of volunteers, the government needs a means of ensuring they’re prepared for battle, and that’s where draft calls — or conscription — comes into play.

Who Must Register?

Men born after 1959, and between the ages of 18 and 26, must register with the Selective Service. This includes refugees, parolees and asylee immigrants. It also includes undocumented immigrants and those who hold dual citizenship.

Registering is a very easy process. Simply visit the Selective Service System website and click the Register button. You’ll be prompted to enter your information and then you’re set to go. You can also request a paper application to fill out or download it from the above website.

Who’s Exempt?

There are some exceptions as to who must register. Men over the age of 26 who immigrate to the US are exempt. Additionally, those who are incarcerated from 30 days prior to their 18th birthday and through their 25th birthday do not have to register.

Those who cannot leave their homes due to disability are exempt, as well. For all of these exemptions, documentation is necessary.

And, of course, men who are already serving in the military, between the ages of 18 and 26 are not required to register. Though the cutoff age for the draft is technically 26, it’s possible to amend the act, much like was done in 1918 when it was extended to 45.

Though the last draft call was in 1972, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for it to go into effect again. It all depends on the number of military personnel who enlist and the needs of the government, should we become involved in an intense battle — such as another world war. However, most people who register today will probably not have to worry about conscription as millions of men and women volunteer to willingly serve their country.

Copyright 2020,