A Selective Service local board is a group of five citizen volunteers appointed by the Director of Selective Service on behalf of the President, based on
recommendations made by their respective state governors or an
equivalent public official. These men and women play an important community role closely connected with our nation's defense. If a military draft becomes necessary, approximately 2,000 local boards throughout the United States, territories, and the District of Columbia would decide who among the registrants in their community will receive deferments, postponements, or exemption from military service based on the individual registrant's circumstances and beliefs.
Do You Qualify to be a Board Member?
Some requirements to be a board member other than to be willing to spend enough time at the position and live in the area in which the board has jurisdiction are that they be:
- Must be 18 years old or older
- Must be a citizen of the United States
- Men must have registered with Selective Service, except those born from March 29, 1957 through December 31, 1959
- Must not be a member of law enforcement occupation as defined by Selective Service policy (example: police officer or judge)
- Must not be an active or retired career member of the Armed Forces or Reserves or National Guard
- Must not have been convicted of any criminal offense
- Recommended by your respective state governor
How to Apply
If you are interest in serving as a local board member, you may apply online for an application package.
The registrant appeal process begins when a registrant is dissatisfied with his Local Board’s decision about his reclassification request and initiates an appeal. The first line of appeal is to the District Appeal Board. In the case of non-unanimous decisions of the District Appeal Board, the registrant may appeal to the President through the National Appeal Board.
The National Director and State Directors of Selective Service may also take appeals to a District Appeal Board to ensure fair and equitable administration of Selective Service law and regulations.
District Appeal Boards are located in each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and Virgin Islands. The law requires at least one such board within the area of each federal judicial district in the United States and within each territory and possession. Members, who are uncompensated civilian volunteers, are appointed by the Director of Selective Service in the name of the President. Each is a citizen of the United States, at least 18 years of age, not an active or retired member of the Armed Forces or any reserve component of the Armed Forces, a resident of the geographical area in the Federal judicial district over which his or her particular board has jurisdiction, and meets all of the other membership requirements of the law and regulations.
Non-unanimous decisions of the District Appeal Boards may be appealed to the President for determination by the National Appeal Board. Appeals may be taken by the registrant or the same Selective Service personnel identified in taking appeals to the District Appeal Boards. The three-member National Appeal Board is the final appeal authority.
Members of the National Appeal Board are citizens of the United States, at least 18 years of age, are not active or retired members of the Armed Forces or of any reserve component of the Armed Forces, and meet all of the other established requirements.
The board member program is one of the primary components of the Selective Service System. Nearly 11,000 volunteers are currently trained in Selective Service regulations and procedures so that if a draft is reinstated, they will be able to fulfill their obligations fairly and equitably. Board members undergo an initial 8-hour training session and then participate in annual training in which they review sample cases similar to real-life situations.
During a Draft
Registrants with low lottery numbers will be ordered to report for a physical, mental, and moral evaluation at a Military Entrance Processing Station to determine whether they are fit for military service. Once he is notified of the results of the evaluation, a registrant will be given 10 days to file a claim for exemption, postponement, or deferment. At that time, board members will begin reviewing and deciding the outcome of the individual registrant's case. They may personally interview the registrant and persons who know him to gain a better understanding of his situation. A man may appeal a local board's decision to a Selective Service District Appeal Board.
Board Member Requirements
An important component of the Selective Service System is its citizen volunteers who make up the Local Boards, and District and National Appeal Boards. Local and District Appeal board members are appointed by the Director of Selective Service after being recommended for their respective positions. National Appeal board members are appointed directly by the President of the United States. However, no matter who appoints these board members, they are all chosen using a set of guidelines. This ensures that the most competent individuals for the job are appointed.
All three boards have several guidelines in common. Board members must be: citizens of the United States; at least 18 years of age; not an active or retired member of the Armed Forces or any reserve component of the Armed Forces; able to devote sufficient time to board affairs; and willing to fairly and uniformly apply Selective Service law, regulations and procedures.
In addition, each board has several unique requirements:
(1) National Appeal board members cannot have served as a member of the board for an accumulative period of more than five years.
(2) District Appeal board members must be residents of the federal judicial district geographical area over which the board has jurisdiction and they cannot have served as a member of a Selective Service board for an accumulative period of more than 20 years.
(3) Local board members must be residents of the county or political subdivision in which the board has jurisdiction and they cannot have served as a member of a Selective Service board for an accumulative period of more than 20 years.
Local and District Appeal board members may not be employed by a public or private enterprise to handle Selective Service matters or hold a position in private or public enterprise with duties that would be incompatible with the duties of their respective boards.
Individuals who are interested in becoming members of a Selective Service board, other than the National Appeal Board, must apply for the position and be interviewed before they are considered for appointment. An individual interested in applying for a local board membership application may do so online: