conscientious objector is one who is opposed to serving in
the armed forces and/or bearing arms on the grounds of moral
or religious principles.
In general, once a man gets a notice that he has been found
qualified for military service, he has the opportunity to
make a claim for classification as a conscientious objector
(CO). A registrant making a claim for Conscientious Objection
is required to appear before his local board to explain his
may provide written documentation or include personal appearances
by people he knows who can attest to his claims. His written
statement might explain:
local board will decide whether to grant or deny a CO classification
based on the evidence a registrant has presented.
man may appeal a Local Board's decision to a Selective Service
District Appeal Board. If the Appeal Board also denies his
claim, but the vote is not unanimous, he may further appeal
the decision to the National Appeal Board. See also Classifications.
Beliefs which qualify a registrant for CO status may be religious
in nature, but don't have to be. Beliefs may be moral or ethical;
however, a man's reasons for not wanting to participate in
a war must not be based on politics, expediency, or self-interest.
In general, the man's lifestyle prior to making his claim
must reflect his current claims.
AS A CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR
Two types of service are available to conscientious objectors,
and the type assigned is determined by the individual's specific
beliefs. The person who is opposed to any form of military
service will be assigned to Alternative Service - described
below. The person whose beliefs allow him to serve in the
military but in a noncombatant capacity will serve in the
Armed Forces but will not be assigned training or duties that
include using weapons.
Conscientious Objectors opposed to serving in the military
will be placed in the Selective Service Alternative Service
Program. This program attempts to match COs with local employers.
Many types of jobs are available, however the job must be
deemed to make a meaningful contribution to the maintenance
of the national health, safety, and interest. Examples of
Alternative Service are jobs in:
of service in the program will equal the amount of time a
man would have served in the military, usually 24 months.