Can We Get Rid Of The Selective Service Now?

Draft Card

My Draft card from 1972

The recent brouhaha over requiring women to register with the Selective Service System reminds me that this government agency’s reason for existence disappeared in early 1973 when Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird said that no further draft orders would be issued. As you can see by my draft card, I was happy with his decision. Over the next couple of years I was even happier that the all-volunteer military concept seemed to be working and America was steering clear of stupid wars. Then President Carter issued Presidential Proclamation 4771 and re-instated the requirement that young men register with the Selective Service System. This was scary and confusing. I was probably too old to draft but I had to wonder what were they thinking? For some time the military had been replacing support positions with civilian contractors so where does a group of inexperienced, unskilled, unmotivated draftees fit in? It looked like a recipe for disaster but for 36 years it has been just another annoying anachronism. When I look back at the draft it makes even less sense today than it did in 1980. So why are we keeping up the ruse that we need to register men or women for a draft we never plan to use? Wouldn’t this be a good time to issue a Presidential Proclamation to end the Selective Service System once and for all?