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What Would Happen If The US Had Another Military Draft?


It’s been a long time since the United States had a draft.  In fact there have only been 4 conflicts where men were drafted into service, the last being the cold war (Korea, Vietnam).   The US military is now an all volunteer force, but the selective service registration still remains as a back up plan.  So what would happen if we needed it?

It would have to pass legislation.

Congress and the President would need to Authorize the draft.  There has been talks about starting a conversation about the draft again as early as the Iraq War in 2003, but it isn’t very popular among the public and hasn’t really gone anywhere.

The lottery would take place.

Surprisingly, it’s a lot like other lotteries.

It would start with men who are turning 20 years old.

All men age 18-25 are already required to register for selective services.  Of those men, the lottery would first pick those who were turning 20 years old that year.  Then they would go up from there to 21, 22, 23, 24, and 25.  Once a man reaches age 26, he is no longer eligble for the draft.   18 and 19 year olds likely would not be drafted as they would be last tier.

Inductees would need to pass evaluation.

Mental and physical evaluations would take place.

People can appeal.

People can appeal the draft for many different reasons, including religion and moral reasons.  However, they would have to appear before a draft board.

Are women eligible for the draft?

No, at this time it’s just men.

What about Transgender issues?

According to the Selective Service, if you were born as a woman and now identify as a man, you cannot be drafted.

However, if you were born a man and now identify as a woman, you are still eligible for the draft.

Want more information?

The Selective Service covers all of these questions and issues on it’s website.

Selective Service



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