The Selective Service
System can provide personnel to the Department of Defense
in a crisis with fairness and equity, and an Alternative
Service Program can be in operation quickly and effectively
for men classified as conscientious objectors.
Agreements With Other
Agencies to Enhance Readiness
If a draft is necessary
in a future crisis, Selective Service cannot operate
in a vacuum. The Agency must constantly fine tune its
plans for activation of a draft as a key element of
In January 1996, a Memorandum
of Understanding (MOU) was signed by SSS Director Gil
Coronado and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force
Management Policy Fred Pang to clarify responsibilities
for readiness planning. This is especially important
for Selective Service in that mobilization timetables
for induction of registrants were updated in 1995. The
MOU specifies certain Defense facilities and personnel
to assist Selective Service following a return to induction.
An MOU was also negotiated
with the U.S. Postal Service in September 1996, giving
the SSS the ability to issue induction notices through
postal channels. Previously, under an arrangement with
Western Union, "Mailgrams" would have been
used. The Postal Service has improved its electronically-based
distribution capabilities and should now be able to
provide the responsiveness necessary in a draft.
Two additional MOUs
were initiated and are being staffed with the Department
of the Army and the U.S. Military Entrance and Processing
Command (USMEPCOM). Under the MOU with the Army, Army
retirees will serve as augmentees to assist in opening
SSS Area Offices in the event of a return to the draft.
The MOU with the USMEPCOM facilitates a two-step induction
process to help determine the number of qualified registrants
available should there be a return to inductions. Registrants
would first be called for examination, then later for
induction. The two-step process falls in line with new
Defense Department requirements that extend the timetable
for draftees to report, and places much less dependence
on the one-step emergency induction process that formed
the basis for mobilization planning during the Cold
The new DoD requirements
have been driving much of the ongoing work in the SSS
under the heading of "time-phased response."
The plan that provides basic guidance for expansion
of the Selective Service System under a time-phased
response was completed in FY 1996 and is undergoing
review. State and regional implementation plans will
be completed once the primary Agency plan is approved
in early FY 1997.
The Military Selective
Service Act (MSSA) recognizes and respects the right
of individual registrants to seek exemption from military
service because of their personal beliefs. When a classification
program resumes as a part of a future draft, registrants
whose deeply held moral, religious beliefs, or matters
of conscience preclude them from any military service,
will be classified as conscientious objectors by SSS
Local Boards. Nonmilitary service in the national interest
can be provided for such men under an Alternative Service
Program, a part of the Registrant Information Management
System (RIMS). Procedures and practices employed in
administering an Alternative Service Program were improved
during FY 1996.
Care Personnel Delivery System (HCPDS)
The Department of Defense
indicates it may require personnel skilled in over 60
separate health care specialties in a future crisis
with high casualties. Possibly tens of thousands of
these specialists would be needed almost immediately
upon commencement of hostilities to care for the wounded.
During FY 1996, the HCPDS was reviewed in conjunction
with the RIMS programs. As a result, modifications were
made in the system which will enhance its efficiency
under emergency mobilization procedures. Moreover, preparatory
steps were taken to submit HCPDS to the business process
re-engineering effort which will modify it for implementation
under time-phased response mobilization conditions.
All readiness training
programs and products were monitored and evaluated,
including training at the detachment and board levels.
Statistical analyses, along with feedback from participants,
reviews of after-action reports, plus discussions with
personnel at training sites and Region Headquarters
were used to develop or revise training materials and
programs continually during the year.
between National Headquarters and the Regions consolidated
printing requirements at the national level. The result
was significant conservation of printing funds.
SSS is also looking
at employing computer-based training programs, as personal
computers become more pervasive throughout the field
New State Directors
attended training designed to familiarize them with
their duties. Experienced State Directors participated
in a four-hour continuation training session. Training
conducted in FY 1996 included blocks of instruction
on responsibilities in peacetime and upon activation.
There were also classes on policy and procedures, an
overview of Alternative Service functions, and a review
of the requirements of activating and operating a state
Force Officer (RFO) Training
During their required
training assemblies, or "drills," RFOs received
readiness training in the form of Training Guidance
Outlines (TGOs) and Training Guidance Packets (TGPs).
The TGOs and TGPs keep RFOs current in their responsibilities
in the event of a national emergency or upon the Agency's
The triennial application
of the Area Office Manager Certification Examination
was completed. Additionally, a self-study New Officer/State
Director, Phase I, Training Program was updated and
provided to the RFOs and State Directors before they
attended the Phase II training at Region Headquarters.
The Phase I program covers mission, organization, programs,
and history. The seven-day Phase II program covers the
"why" and "how" of accomplishing
mission essential tasks.
Initial Board Member
Training was conducted for newly appointed board members
during FY 1996. It was given in 12-hour sessions on
weekends. All new board members were required to attend.
for half of the Local and District Appeal Boards was
provided in four-hour sessions. Civilian Review Board
Members completed their appropriate phase of study through
a self-study packet. Training goals for Local Board
Members were met during FY 1996. Continuation training
packages for board training were developed and printed,
and were distributed to the Regions in FY 1997.
Office Augmentee Training
Area Office Augmentee
Training was not done in FY 1996 because of the anticipated
change in the source of augmentee personnel. Under an
older agreement, Army National Guard recruiters were
to be used initially to staff Area Offices in a crisis.
The new agreement with the Army calls for using Army
retirees to perform the function. A self-study orientation
training program for augmentees is being developed for
the 1,500 authorized augmentees. The program will help
new augmentees meet their responsibilities as part of
an Area Office team.
One of Selective Service
System's primary missions in peacetime is to maintain
an effective registration program for all men reaching
18 years of age. In FY 1996, approximately 92 percent
of the estimated 14 million men age 18 through 25 were
registered. This represents a slight decrease from previous
Young Men Register
Young men register in
several ways. They may register at any of more than
34,000 post offices nationwide. Or, they may complete
and return a registration reminder postcard most men
receive in the mail. The mail-back cards provide a convenient
way for young men to register at less cost to the government.
Registration reminder postcards are mailed to over two
million young men each year, at about the time of their
18th birthday. A young man simply fills out the card
he receives and mails it back to Selective Service.
Names of men likely
to be required to register are obtained from State Departments
of Motor Vehicles (DMVs), the Department of Defense
high school recruiting list, the Immigration and Naturalization
Service, and the Department of Education. In FY 1996,
the Reminder Mail-back Program generated more than 792,000
registrations. Of these, 540,000 registrations were
generated from DMV lists and nearly 187,000 from the
DoD list mailings, averaging a 44- and 20-percent return
Under a reimbursement
agreement, the Selective Service System continues to
pay the U.S. Postal Service $1.06 per registration card
received. Because of increasing costs and diminishing
resources, the two agencies have agreed to implement
a new program. Registration mail-back cards will be
made available in post offices. Thus, a man may simply
complete a mail-back card, add postage, and mail it
to Selective Service, with little involvement of a postal
clerk. In FY 1996, a pilot mail-back program was conducted
in eight cities to determine the effectiveness of this
approach. The results of the pilot program will determine
the degree of program expansion in FY 1997.
Selective Service System continues to explore other
ways of registering men. One of the new methods developed
in FY 1996, to be implemented in early FY 1997, is a
program with CompuServe. Men of registration age who
have access to the CompuServe on-line service will be
offered the opportunity to initiate their registration
by using a home or school personal computer. A prompt
on the computer screen will request that the individual
provide his name, date of birth, address, and Social
Security Account Number. This information will be downloaded
to Selective Service. A card with the information provided
will then be sent to him, requesting that he verify
its accuracy. He then signs it, and returns it to Selective
Service to complete his registration.
The SSS has several
major registrar programs. Registrars are volunteers
who inform men of their responsibility to register,
provide them with registration forms, and collect and
forward completed registration forms to Selective Service.
There are more than 10,000 volunteer registrars in public
and private schools throughout the U.S. Another notable
registrar program, begun in early 1995, is conducted
within the Association of Farmworkers Opportunity Programs
(AFOP). AFOP is a national association representing
farmworkers and state agencies operating Job Training
Partnership Act and Title IV Section 402 grants. Its
SSS registrar work has expanded to 24 states, with 161
appointed Selective Service registrars registering farmworkers
at local training and educational field offices. AFOP
is made up of 53 member-organizations in 49 states and
the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and provides disadvantaged
farmworkers with education, training and employment
opportunities both within and outside agriculture.
Failure to register
is not a victimless crime. Each man who does not register
increases the draft vulnerability of those who do register.
By matching names and addresses from a variety of computer
lists with the registration data base, Selective Service
informs many men of their registration requirement in
an effort to keep compliance as high as possible.
To reverse the slight
decline in registration compliance experienced in FY
1996, the Selective Service System initiated several
programs that will be fully implemented in FY 1997.
One of the key programs in the coming year is a national
automatic registration program with the U.S. Immigration
and Naturalization Service (INS). Final approval has
been received from the INS for language to appear on
INS Form I-485, which is used by all applicants for
U.S. citizenship and those adjusting their citizenship
status. The joint INS/SSS program currently in place
identifies non-citizens or green card holders who have
not registered. Currently, the Agency incurs a postage
cost under this program, but when fully implemented,
the program will involve only the cost for the automatic
electronic exchange of information.