Selective Service Registration

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

National Counter Recruitment Strategy Summit in Chicago, June 23-24, 2018.

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As an intern for Truth in Recruitment in Santa Maria, I had the opportunity to attend the National Counter Recruitment Strategy Summit in Chicago with our coordinator, Kate Connell. The summit consisted of learning the history of the counter recruitment movement along with developing goals and strategies that can be implemented by counter recruitment activists. I had the opportunity to work alongside several counter recruitment activists at the summit in breakout sessions. I was not only able to learn a lot from each and every one of them, but was also able to contribute by sharing my own experiences and giving my perspective as part of the youth.

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Taking a part in attending the summit allowed me to have more knowledge on the counter recruitment movement itself and has overall helped me to become more prepared. The goals and tactics that were developed will help face the challenges that may come in the community of Santa Maria. Truth in Recruitment has and will continue to strive to create an impact to the community by working with students, parents, and teachers to make a change happen.

–Selina Perez, Santa Maria High School student and intern.

Difficulties Limiting Recruiters in Santa Barbara Schools—Even with a policy!

Group portrait of TIRand SBUSD

The military has an enormous budget for recruiting and pressuring school districts that limit recruiter visits….Vigilance is necessary. During the school year 2017-18 Truth in Recruitment (TIR) leadership and staff met with Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD) school board members Ismael Ulloa, Wendi Sims-Mooten and Jackie Reid as well as Assistant Superintendent Shawn Carey on four separate occasions. We discussed implementation of the Exhibit 5125.1 Recruiting Activities in the Santa Barbara Unified School District and the continued problem of policy violations.

Two issues took a lot of back and forth with the district to work out — the Opt Out form for release of directory information, and recruiters’ efforts to solicit contact information directly from students:

  • We believe that a recruiter told the SBUSD that they could not give parents a choice on the Opt Out form to check a separate box to opt out only from the military getting a child’s information. Last year the district combined the two as a single opt-out – Colleges/Military. After much research by John Douglas, a retired lawyer and Dos Pueblos HS alumni parent, the district agreed to ‘uncouple’ the choices. We showed them over 20 examples of school districts who gave families an either or choice, including the state of Hawaii, and such cities as Chicago, San Diego, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. The Military Law Task Force and the Project on Youth and Nonmilitary Opportunities also aided this effort.

2017 online registration that combined College/Military in a single opt out:Screen shot SBUSD 2017-18

This year’s, 2018, online registration with Colleges and Military ‘uncoupled’:

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  • The second issue–some SBUSD high schools allowed recruiters to use ‘surveys’ and contact cards to collect student contact information directly from students. Under the federal Every Child Succeeds Act, school districts are only required to give recruiters a student’s name, address and telephone number. These surveys, prominent on the recruiter’s tables, asked for student’s email, GPA, U.S. citizenship status and more, under the guise of finding out their job interests for the military. Such surveys ignore parents’ opt out right to privacy. Recruiters also have handed their phones to students for them to follow each other on Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. The military uses social media platforms extensively. After we showed examples of these “surveys” to the administration, they agreed that these violated students’ privacy and the SBUSD policy. If a family “opts-out” they “opt-out.” This will remain an area to monitor.

With the district’s support, TIR parent, students and staff will have annual meetings with all of the SBUSD principals to engage them in implementing the policy and making their staff aware of the recruiter guidelines. We also plan to continue meeting with the school board members and district administration. For our goal of building leadership, we will be working with Parent, Teacher and Student Associations, English Learner Advisory Committees (ELACs), and student clubs.

 

Santa Maria High School Family Forum; Military Recruiters On Campus

IMG_6779I found the informational meeting at the Santa Maria Public Library, Santa Maria High School Family Forum; Military Recruiters On Campus, inspiring and very revealing of primordial sentiments held by loving parents and community members resistant to the presence of military recruiting tactics on Santa Maria Joint Unified School District campuses. Testimonials from event sponsors: Truth in Recruitment, Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project/ El Proyecto Mixteco/Indígena Organización Comunitaria (MICOP), and Importa, as well as high school staff, parents and students were exceptional, each giving their own point of view of where emphasis should be focused to further the well-being of the students. Excessive military recruiter presence was demonstrated during the evening in a power point and digital recordings.

Testimony was markedly in favor of providing students with the skills and resources necessary to improve their developing reasoning powers, abilities, and career formation. In order to achieve this, attendees requested to be protected from the leering tactics of beguiling military job classifications and so-called “benefits” invented by military recruiting professionals. The need for a philosophy of peace was expressed by attendees, and as might be expected a testimonial was given that clearly shows the disillusionment that awaits uninformed enlistees. One example was given by the parent of a 19 year old son now awaiting orders from his post in Japan to Korea, a fretful status unwanted by both this new recruit and his parents.

–Michael Cervantes, Vietnam War veteran, infantry and Veterans for Peace Ventura member.

Read an article from the Santa Maria Times. We had originally invited the press but then decided that in order to create a space that everyone could feel safe to testify of their experience, we would limit the invitees to parents, students, teachers and community members who had voiced their concerns about recruiters on school campuses.

 

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Santa Maria High School Family Forum: Military Recruiters On Campus

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Date:          Tuesday, February 27, 2018  

                    5:30 – 6:00 pm — Pupusas dinner

                    6:00 – 7:30 pm — Forum

Location:     Santa Maria Public Library, Shepard Hall

                    421 So. McClelland Street, Santa Maria, CA 94358

Santa Maria High School teachers and families have voiced concern about military recruiters on campus and the presence of a National Guard Recruiter, whose office is named W.A.R. (We All Rise), on campus.

In a cooperative effort to address these concerns, this forum will review:

  • The history of this military recruiter presence,
  • The ethics of a military recruiter having an office on school grounds,
  • A family’s right to protect their children’s privacy, and
  • How students and parents would like to address this issue.

There also will be discussion of recruiters on campus, in general.

This forum is co-sponsored by the Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project called El Proyecto Mixteco Indigena Comunitaria (MICOP), the Fund for Santa Barbara, Importa, the McCune Foundation and Truth in Recruitment.

You are cordially invited to join us!  Language translation and dinner will be provided.

Foro Familiar para Santa Maria High School:

Reclutadores Militares en el campus

Fecha y Horario:  Martes, Febrero 27, 2018  

5:30 – 6:00 pm — Pupusas cena

6:00 – 7:30 pm — Foro

Ubicacion:  Biblioteca Publica de Santa Maria, Shepard Hall

421 So. McClelland Street, Santa Maria, CA 94358

Los padres y maestros de Santa Maria High School han expresado una intranquilidad con el reclutador de la Guardia Nacional. El cual tiene una oficina personal dentro del plantel educativo.

En un esfuerzo por restaurar la calma de los padres este foro hablara sobre:

  • El origen de esta oficina de reclutamiento,
  • Es apropiado tener esta oficina,
  • Información sobre los derechos de privacidad de los estudiantes y
  • Que hacer respecto a esta oficina.

También habrá una discusión general sobre la presencia de reclutadores en los planteles educativos.

Este foro esta copatrocinado por El Proyecto Mixteco Indigena Comunitario (MICOP), el Fund for Santa Barbara, Importa, la fundación McCune y por Truth in Recruitment.

¡Usted está cordialmente invitado!  Interpretación de idiomas y la cena serán provistos.

Carpinteria High School Tabling

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Michael, Elizabeth, and Fernando, of Truth in Recruitment, tabled at a Carpinteria High School community service fair sponsored by SB County Partners in Education on Friday December 1, 2017. The Wheel of Fortune was themed “Resisters and Veterans.” Michael, himself a veteran of the Vietnam War, discussed whistleblower and veteran Chelsea Manning’s impact with one inquisitive student.

Several students wrote in the comment book, based on a prompt about Rosa Parks’ role in Civil Rights (December 1 was the anniversary of her being arrested for not giving up her seat on a segregated bus). They would take stands against racism, for peace and in favor of net neutrality.  Students also participated in the penny poll exercise indicating what priorities should receive government funding (with each penny representing one million dollars). Education, humanitarian aid, and environmentalism were popular; however two students put their entire $10 million in the jar marked “military” which then led to a lively debate.

One student told them he was signed up for the Delayed Entry Program (DEP), which meant that he could be heading to boot camp after he graduated. (See links on this website for DEP cancellation forms) Fernando spoke with him about his options and the student left with literature about getting out of the program should he change his mind. By the end, many students were intrigued enough to request literature that offered alternative perspectives on the military.

Santa Barbara High School Community Service Fair on Friday, October 27

On a Friday morning, October 27, at Santa Barbara High School,  I joined Fernando and Kate during  Santa Barbara High School’s Community Service Fair. As I arrived at the Truth in Recruitment table, students were swarming around while asking questions and playing games.  At the Wheel of Fortune, Fernando and students were talking about the financial realities of a military career and other questions posed by the wheel. Kate guided a small group to ‘vote with their dollars’ as if they were members of Congress deciding how to allocate funds for the national budget.  Students doled out the coins while considering the consequences of distributing money between education, humanitarian aid, environment, the prison system and the military.  In a comment book, people took turns writing about the ways they are proud of their heritage.  All these young people walked away with bracelets that read: Question Authority.

Several teachers and students told us they were grateful that Truth in Recruitment was there.

It was fun.

Barb Parmet