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The Selective Service System: historical and current elements

Military Marine
Posted at 3:03 PM, Jun 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-08 16:06:57-04

WACO, TX — With the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, Franklin Roosevelt established the military draft to fill vacancies in the military from 1948 to 1973.

As it's own 104 year old independent federal agency, the Selective Service System (SSS) began registration again in July 1980 for men born in 1960 and after, according to the SSS.

Men are required now to register within 30 days of their 18th birthday, however men between the age of 18-25 automatically registered within the system when applying for a driver's license or renewal, permit, or state I.D. card.

Today's requirements extend to include dual nationals, both documented and undocumented immigrants, incarcerated or hospitalized individuals after they are discharged, disabled individuals who can leave their homes independently, and transgenders who were born male, according to the SSS.

Registration noncompliance penalties date back to 1982, when the Department of Justice began prosecuting individuals that refused to register for selective service; 341 men were reported by the SSS the following year with 11 indicted and 2 convicted at the time of the report, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

Today registration failure is a felony punishable up to $250,000 and/or 5 years imprisonment. Additionally noncompliance strips eligibility for governmental employment and federal benefits such as federal job training assistance and federal student assistance under Title IV of the Higher Education Act, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

To address current rising concerns on SSS required registration, congress established a National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service to complete research and provide recommendations for support; the commission's March 2020 final report recommended sustaining the SSS and suggested making registration mandatory on women as well, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

The United States currently has the highest military budget in the world and has been functioning as a voluntary service with individuals who have trained professionally over months with qualifying test scores, medical history, and criminal background history.

Currently 92 percent of men have registered within the selective service system with nearly 17 million names and addresses on file, according to the SSS.