The cover of a booklet published in 1951 by a couple of Army veterans on how to survive after being drafted.

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The National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service is
continuing to work toward recommendations to Congress and the President on
whether draft registration should be ended, extended to women, modified to
include people with skills in special demand by the military (health care,
foreign languages, tech, etc.), and/or replaced with a compulsory national
service scheme with both military and civilian components. More information can be found on Edward Hasbrouck’s website. 

Draft registration ceased entirely from 1975 to 1980, and the Selective Service System was cut back to “deep standby” status with only minimal headquarters staff and no local draft boards. But since 1980, all cis men, and anyone assigned male at birth, US citizens and most cis men and anyone assigned male at birth US residents, have been required to register with the Selective Service System within 30 days of their 18th birthday, and notify the Selective Service System each time they change their residence until their 26th birthday. Draft registration is one of the ways that all cis men and anyone assigned male at birth (and possibly soon cis women and anyone assigned female at birth as well) have to interact with the military and think about their relationship to military “service”.

The Federal government requires that all cis men and anyone assigned male at birth residing in the United States register with the Selective Service System (SSS) during a 60 day period that begins 30 days before their 18th birthday. Although it is not technically conscription, the military draft, it is a list of people who could be called up if the draft were reinstated.

Some people may feel conscientiously opposed to cooperating with draft registration. If you are a conscientious objector whose conscience allows you to register you should go to the post office and fill out the registration card. Write somewhere on the face of the card, between the lines or above your signature, “I’m opposed to participation in war in any form because of my ethical, moral, or religious beliefs,” or words to that effect. You should make a photocopy of the card before surrendering it to the postal clerk. This cannot be done if you register electronically on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, only if you register by mail with a paper/hard copy.

Here is an article arguing that Why Mandatory National Service is Both Unjust and Unconstitutional by Ilya Somin.

Transgender women are required to register. This link takes you to a Selective Service System page that describes all of those required to register.

More information on SSS registration and Conscientious Objection is available from the Center on Conscience & War, 202-483-2220 | 1830 Connecticut Ave. NW | Washington, DC 20009 | ccw@centeronconscience.org

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