“A successful life, by definition includes service to others” (The Bush School of Government and Public Service, 2013). For centuries the idea of serving one’s nation has been known as a noble calling. While several countries have utilized a compulsory military and/or public service obligation, the United States of America has maintained the notion that one should feel called / led to serve. Outside of the Selected Service, the U.S. has maintained an All-Volunteer Force. With the continued pressures from the decade long war(s) one could argue that the United States adopts a compulsory public service obligation.
History of the United States Selective Service System (SSS)
The draft first came into effect during the Civil War where both the North and South utilized a draft system to enlist Soldiers. “The invasion on liberty was not well received with widespread and violent resistance, especially in the North” (Pauwels, 2013). The draft closed soon after the Civil War was over and reopened for World War I, once again closing upon the war’s end. The first peace-time draft was utilized in 1940 as World War II loomed over the horizon. While often referred to as a “peace-time” draft, most believe it is better defined as a “pre-war” draft. For a short period of time (1975-1980), the draft remained in effect until the end of the Vietnam War (Pauwels, 2013). The requirement to register for the SSS was suspended. President Carter reinstated the registration requirement in 1980. Still in effect today, all males must register for the SSS once they reach the age of 18 (Pauwels, 2013).
The Selected Service System (SSS) is “an active partner in the national preparedness community that anticipates and responds to the changing needs of...
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... M. 2013. “Mandatory National Service: Creating
Generations of Civic Minded Citizens.” Notre Dame Law Review, June.
Peace Corps. 2013. Accessed: 30 November 2013.
“Ready, Willing, and Unable to Serve: 75 Percent of Adults Cannot Join the
Military.” 2009. Mission Readiness. Accessed: 30 November 2013 http://missionreadiness.org/2009/ready_willing/.
Rogin, Josh. 2012. “McChrystal: Time to bring back the draft.” Foreign
Policy Magazine. 3 July. Accessed: 30 November 2013. http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/07/03/mcchrystal_time_to_bring_back_the_draft?wp_login_redirect=0.
“Selective Service System.” Fiscal Year 2012 Annual Report. Washington
D.C.: Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, 2013.
The Bush School of Government and Public Service. 2013. Mission Statement.
Accessed: 30 November 2013. http://bush.tamu.edu/about/mission/.
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