WORLD WAR II TO TODAY
Congress and the President were to reinstate a military draft,
Selective Service procedures currently in place would not
treat married registrants, or those with a dependent child,
any differently from men who are single. Regardless of marital
or parental status, a man who will turn 20 years old during
a year when a draft is in operation, and whose birthday draws
a low lottery number, will probably receive a draft notice.
Being married or being a parent will not, by itself, be grounds
for a III-A "hardship to dependents" deferment,
nor will it place a man in a lower priority of call.
given to a mans marital or parental status in a draft
has varied since the Second World War:
the Selective Service Act of 1948, Executive Order 9988 (April
22, 1948) provided that husbands who maintained a bona
fide family relationship with their wives or children
were deferred in Class III-A. But on September 25, 1951, Executive
Order 10292 changed the status of childless husbands. They
were no longer deferrable in Class III-A, except in cases
where they could prove that their induction would cause extreme
hardship for their dependents. Fathers maintaining a bona
fide family relationship with a child continued to be
deferred in class III-A (paternity deferments).
Order 10469, July 11, 1953, did away with paternity deferments,
except for those men who filed evidence showing paternity
before August 25, 1953. Men whose induction would cause extreme
hardship to dependents could still qualify for a Class III-A
March 14, 1963 to April 23, 1970, the III-A classification
was broadened to include all men who were fathers. President
Kennedy issued Executive Order 11098 on March 14, 1963, to
expand entitlement to this paternity deferment. For a man
to qualify for a III-A deferment as a "Kennedy father,"
there had to be a "bona fide family relationship in their
home" between the father and child. The definition of
a man's "child" in the regulations of the period
included "a legitimate or illegitimate child from the
date of its conception." Therefore, the III-A classification
could be granted during his wife's (or significant other's)
pregnancy. The III-A classification also remained available
to men, married or single, whose induction would be a hardship
to their dependents.
for the III-A classification on the basis of paternity ended
in 1970. President Nixon issued Executive Order 11527 on April
23, 1970, which terminated the availability of the Class III-A
paternity deferment for new fathers if the child was conceived
on or after that date. Class III-A remained available for
fathers of children conceived prior to that date, and for
men who could prove hardship to dependents.
of Marital Status on Induction Priority
Order 10001 (September 17, 1948) provided that men in Class
I-A or I-A-O would be selected for induction in the order
of their dates of birth, with the oldest being selected first.
February 15, 1956, Executive Order 10659 made changes in the
order of induction within Class I-A or I-A-O. Men who were
married but did not have children were selected for induction
in the same order as single men. Men who became fathers after
August 25, 1953, had a lower priority of call within Class
I-A or I-A-O. They could only be called after men without
children (single or married, 19-26, oldest first).
Order 11119 (September 10, 1963) changed Selective Service
System regulations. Married men without children were placed
one step lower in the order of call than single men.
The local boards were then required to select men for induction
in the following order: delinquents, volunteers, and I-A single
men (19-26, oldest first), before calling these "Kennedy
effect of a mans marital status on his draft priority
was further modified by President Johnsons Executive
Order 11241 in 1965. It provided that men who married
after August 26, 1965, and had no children, were again
considered the same as single men in Class I-A with
regard to the order of call. However, childless men married
prior to that date remained in the fourth order of
call in Class I-A in accordance with the "Kennedy husband"
rule. They could be drafted only after all delinquents, volunteers,
and single and newly married men (19-26, oldest first) in
Class I-A were selected for induction. President Johnson did
not change eligibility for the III-A classification, which
still applied to fathers and to men who proved hardship to
different priorities of call for men within Class I-A on the
basis of their being single or married ended with an amendment
to Selective Service System regulations (38 Federal Register
13485) on May 23, 1973. Marital status alone no longer affected
priority of draft call. Unless revised by Congress or a change
in Selective Service System regulations, these rules would
apply in a future draft.