When you turn 18, there are many new responsibilities that you must deal with. One of these, if you are male, is the Selective Service. The Selective Service or draft is a process that started back in 1940 and has had few changes since that time. You should know how, when, and where you can register, along with the reason for this law.

In 1940, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law the process called Selective Service. This law dictates, in times of war, how and when men would be drafted into the U.S. military. The draft, started before our direct involvement in World War II, was for males age 18-25. Registered men would be “called up” based on a random lottery.

All U.S. male citizens and male aliens are currently required to sign up for the Selective Service within 30 days of their 18th birthday. As of 2004, females are not required to register, but there has been some controversy on this subject. If someone fails to register for the Selective Service they can be sent to jail

There are many places to obtain information and papers concerning registration:
• Online @ www.sss.gov
• The Post Office
• The FAFSA-Free Application for Federal Student Aid
• Any U.S. Embassy, if you are living overseas

After you have registered you would only be called to serve during a national crisis or war. It takes Congress and the President to activate the draft. The only time that the draft would go into effect, however, is during a crisis in which there are too few troops in the regular volunteer military. When this happens the lottery is begun and men are called up based on their birth date, starting with the oldest. Males would learn of their selection through the mail or by phone. As soon as the 20-25 age group has been drafted, the draft will call the 18-19 year old group. When your name is called you are to report to a doctor for a mental, physical, and moral evaluation. If you pass these exams you move on to the military and start your service.

All males, 18-25 must sign up for the Selective Service, and failure to do so could result in jail time. This law was established to provide a way for the United States to deal with the need for troops during a national or international crisis.

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