Agency has changed dramatically since the 1970s. A series
of reforms during the latter part of the Vietnam conflict
changed the way the draft operated. If a draft were held today
it would be the most equitable draft in history:
If a draft were held today there would be fewer reasons to
excuse a man from service.
Congress reformed the draft in 1971, a man could qualify for
a student deferment if he could show he was a full-time student
making satisfactory progress in virtually any field of study.
He could continue to go to school and be deferred from service
until he was too old to be drafted. Under the new draft law,
a college student could have his induction postponed only
until the end of the current semester. A senior could be postponed
until the end of the full academic year.
a draft were held today, local boards would better represent
the communities they serve.
changes in the new draft law made in 1971 included the provision
that membership on the boards was required to be as representative
as possible of the racial and ethnic background of the area
served by the board.
1971, state and local boards used a "quota system"
under which they assigned a certain number of men to the draft.
Because the boards determined who would be drafted, there
were instances when personal relationships and favoritism
played a part in deciding who would be drafted. Today, the
Uniform National Call ensures that men will be treated the
same, no matter which board they are assigned to.
draft held today would use a lottery to determine the order
the lottery was implemented in the latter part of the Vietnam
conflict, there was no system in place to determine order
of call besides the fact that men between the ages of 18 and
26 were vulnerable to being drafted. This lack of a system
resulted in uncertainty for the potential draftees during
the entire time they were within the draft-eligible age group.
All throughout a young mans early 20s he did not
know if he would be drafted. A draft held today would use
a lottery system under which a man would spend only one year
in first priority for the drafteither the calendar year
he turned 20 or the year his deferment ended, whichever came
first. If he was not drafted in his first priority year, he
dropped into second priority. In this way he would be spared
the uncertainty of waiting until his 26th birthday to be certain
he would not be drafted.
a draft were held today, a registrant would be guaranteed
a personal appearance before his board if he wanted to appeal
1971, a draftee was not guaranteed this right, and so some
decisions about whether a man would be drafted were made based
on paperwork. Today, if a man wanted to appeal to his Local
Board for an exemption or deferment, he could speak to them