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What Happens During a Draft?


Sequence of Events

Here is a brief overview of what would occur if the United States returned to a draft:

1. CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT AUTHORIZE A DRAFT. A crisis occurs which requires more troops than the volunteer military can supply. Congress passes and the President signs legislation which starts a draft. It should be noted that the President cannot initiate a draft on his own. Congress would first have to pass legislation (both the House and Senate), and the President would have to sign the bill into law.

2. THE LOTTERY. A lottery based on birthdays determines the order in which registered men are called up by Selective Service. The first to be called, in a sequence determined by the lottery, will be men whose 20th birthday falls during that year, followed, if needed, by those aged 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25. 18-year-olds and those turning 19 would probably not be drafted.

3. ALL PARTS OF SELECTIVE SERVICE ARE ACTIVATED. The Agency activates and orders its State Directors and Reserve Forces Officers to report for duty.

4. PHYSICAL, MENTAL, AND MORAL EVALUATION OF REGISTRANTS. Registrants with low lottery numbers are ordered to report for a physical, mental, and moral evaluation at a Military Entrance Processing Station to determine whether they are fit for military service. Once he is notified of the results of the evaluation, a registrant will be given 10 days to file a claim for exemption, postponement, or deferment. For details, see Military Enlistment Standards. It is possible that Congress could decide to lessen the standards during a draft. However, Congress would have to do so by either including the changed standards in the draft legislation, or by separate legislative action.

5. LOCAL AND APPEAL BOARDS ACTIVATED AND INDUCTION NOTICES SENT. Local and Appeal Boards will process registrant claims. Those who pass the military evaluation will receive induction orders. An inductee will have 10 days to report to a local Military Entrance Processing Station for induction.

6. FIRST DRAFTEES ARE INDUCTED. According to current plans, Selective Service must deliver the first inductees to the military within 193 days from the effective date of draft legislation.

Much of the Above Information Courtesy of the Selective Service

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