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US Military Draft: Know All About the Selective Service System

“The House of Representatives of the US has come up with a US military bill. It was passed on Friday, allowing men in the age group of 18 to 26 to automatically register for selective service.

The bill was a part of the annual NDAA or National Defense Authorization Act. The NDAA sets the national security and military priorities of the U.S. government for the upcoming fiscal year.

Notably, the bill hasn’t been revised in over fifty years. As per the military draft, all male citizens in the U.S. are required to register for selective service when they turn 18 years old.

If an individual reaching 18 years fails to register, it is regarded as a felony. Moreover, it also comes with significant legal challenges.

Currently, there is no draft in place. However, the president and Congress have the ability to reinstate the draft. Thus, male citizens would be forced to serve in the military in a time of war or national emergency.

Keep reading to find out everything about the military draft.

The US Military Draft

The military draft in the U.S. is also officially called the “Selective Service System.” According to federal law, the draft requires almost all male citizens in the U.S. along with other male immigrants in the state belonging to the age group of 18 to 25 to register with the government.

As per the official website, the Selective Service System is explained as, “The Selective Service System and the registration requirement for America’s young men provide our nation with a structure and a system of guidelines which will provide the most prompt, efficient, and equitable draft possible, if the country should need it.”

The selective service is different from the Department of Defense. Rather, it is a government bureau.

Who are all Required To Register?

All men living in the U.S. who are in the age group of 18 to 25 must register for the draft.

The list includes:

  1. U.S.-born citizens, dual citizens, and naturalized.
  2. Citizens of the U.S. but living outside the country.
  3. Undocumented immigrants.
  4. Immigrants who are legal permanent residents.
  5. Asylum seekers and refugees.
  6. People with minor disabilities.
  7. Transgenders who were male at birth.
  8. People who served actively but were discharged before their 26th birthday.

The draft also applies to military reservists or a military veteran. As per the draft, if a 26-year-old person or older, who has served in the Armed Forces fails to register, then his DD Form 214 will act as evidence that the person’s failure to register was not willful or intentional.

It is required for conscientious objectors to register. As per the website, a conscientious objector is defined as “one who is opposed to serving in the armed forces and/or bearing arms on the grounds of moral or religious principles.”

Who Are Exempted From Registering?

Certain sections of people are also exempted from registering for the selective service.

  1. People who are currently on active duty.
  2. Disabled persons.
  3. People in prison or incarcerated.
  4. If you are 26 or older.

Are Women Eligible to Register for the Selective Service System?

Currently, the law holds that only men are required to register for the draft.

However, in the context of including women in the draft, the website reads, “Selective Service is prepared to expand registration.” Thus, there are chances that women could also register for the draft in the future if the law changes.

What If You Fail To Register?

If a person who attains the age of 18 fails to register for the draft, it will be considered a federal felony according to the law. Moreover, the person will have to pay a fine worth $250,000 or else he will have to serve in prison for up to 5 years, or both.

In the U.S., a felony conviction refers to your inability to retain your right to own, use, and possess a firearm. Other consequences include the person also losing his right to vote.

Registration Process

The easiest way to register for the military draft is to go online.

Moreover, forms to register are also available at DMV locations, high schools, and post offices.


Who must register for the Selective Service?

All male U.S. citizens and male immigrants living in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 25 are required to register. This includes U.S.-born citizens, dual citizens, naturalized citizens, undocumented immigrants, legal permanent residents, asylum seekers, refugees, individuals with minor disabilities, and transgender individuals who were male at birth.

Are women required to register for the Selective Service?

Currently, only men are required to register. However, the Selective Service System is prepared to expand registration to include women if the law changes in the future.

How can one register for the Selective Service?

Registration can be done online, and forms are also available at DMV locations, high schools, and post offices.

Subhashree Panda

Subhashree Panda: A proficient content writer, editor, and researcher. With 4 years of experience and an MBA in finance, she crafts compelling narratives on global events. Her passion for diverse journalism genres resonates widely, fostering broad audience connections.

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