Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Command Sergeant Major Jeff Mellinger retired in 2011 as the last US military draftee remaining in service. Drafted in 1972, he spent 39 years as a soldier. All remaining members of the US military are volunteers. Nonetheless, even today males in the US between 18 and 26 years of age are required to register with the Selective Service System, just in case the federal government needs some involuntary cannon fodder. This is true not only for US citizens, but also for immigrants, documented and undocumented, residing in the US and its territories. This means that any undocumented alien in the age group that has not registered for the draft is a felon, subject to a fine of up to $250,000 or 5 years imprisonment or both. The last person indicted for this felony was Terry Kuelper, on January 23, 1986. The charge was later withdrawn before trial. Nine individuals have actually spent time behind bars for failure to register, the longest being for 6 months. As of tomorrow it will be exactly 28 years since anyone has been prosecuted for failing to register with the Selective Service System.


 Selective Service does not collect any information which would indicate whether or not you are undocumented. You want to protect yourself for future U.S. citizenship and other government benefits and programs by registering with Selective Service. Do it today. If you are a man ages 18 through 25 and living in the U.S., then you must register with Selective Service. It’s the law. According to law, a man must register with Selective Service within 30 days of his 18th birthday. Selective Service will accept late registrations but not after a man has reached age 26. You may be denied benefits or a job if you have not registered. You can register at any U.S. Post Office and do not need a social security number. When you do obtain a social security number, let Selective Service know. Provide a copy of your new social security number card; being sure to include your complete name, date of birth, Selective Service registration number, and current mailing address; and mail to the Selective Service System, P.O. Box 94636, Palatine, IL 60094-4636. If you have a social security number, you can register online (click here). It's quick and easy.

Then there's this, provided by "Things That Cost More Than Space Exploration":

 If you are an American male, chances are that at some point you had to register with the US Selective Service System. For those of you not familiar with it, the Selective Service System is, in their own words, “a small, independent federal agency [that] is America’s only proven and time-tested hedge against underestimating the number of active duty and reserve component personnel needed in a conflict.” (I like that the agency also describes itself as “the last link between society at large and today’s all-volunteer Armed Forces,” which sounds like the copy on the back of a post-apocalyptic novel.) That’s right: they are the ones who run the draft. Despite the fact that US law at present does not actually permit the government to run a draft, and the fact that no draft has been held since 1973, Selective Services nevertheless collects and keeps information on all male US Citizens between the ages of 18-25, just in case. (Women, who have experienced some significant expansions in their role in the US Armed Services in recent years, are not required to register). According to the General Accountability Office, as of 2012 the US Department of Defense had “not reevaluated requirements for the Selective Service System since 1994”—a time period in which several wars were fought without the need for a draft. The GAO report goes on to point out several reasons why the agency is not needed in the modern era, even should there ever be a need for another draft. Nevertheless, the Selective Service System’s budget in fiscal year 2012 was $24 million.

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