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For Release on December 15, 2011

Selective Service Article

Selective Service Seeks AASA Involvement

Public Service and Superintending Public Schools Seem To Go Hand In Hand

The Selective Service System, in fact, is counting on that natural connection, not only to maintain its high rate of registration but to fill vacancies in its local boards across the country.

Selective Service is a small federal agency established in 1940 to conduct military drafts. The military draft ended in 1973, when the United States switched to an all-volunteer Armed Forces. Registration of young men was halted in 1975. After a subsequent study of military exercises revealed a poor state of preparedness and the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, Congress in 1980 resumed the registration requirement, which remains in place today. Presidential administrations and Congressional leadership under both parties have seen fit to retain Selective Service and its registration mission as a low-cost insurance policy against unexpected crises in an uncertain world.

Since the 1980s, the registration requirement has been linked to important benefits and privileges, especially student financial aid, but also federal employment and job training, citizenship for immigrants, and driver’s licenses in most states. Most young men learned about the requirement in high school, thanks to “registrars” assigned to remind them of their obligation under federal law to register, and the serious consequences if they don’t.

Support from school administrators for the registrar program has been vital to the success of the agency’s mission. There is one more way school administrators can help.

When registration resumed, Selective Service also revived the local board system. In any future draft, board members would hear claims for exemptions, deferments, or postponements. With no draft, local boards are not hearing claims. Nevertheless, volunteer board members take seriously their duty to train in case Congress ever activates them in the wake of a national emergency. These civic-minded men and women from every walk of life, more representative of their local communities than ever, proudly serve 20-year terms.

But there are vacancies on the roughly 2,000 boards. Selective Service would like to fill them. In the agency’s reasoning, who would make better board members than school administrators? Who understands the lives and needs of young men better than school teachers and staff? Who would be better equipped to adjudicate claims of young men facing induction? 

In fact, many school superintendents have already answered the call, such as Karl Galey, superintendent of the Lawrenceburg (IN) Community School Corporation, and Nelson Miller, Ph.D, former superintendent of the Franklin County (IN) Community School Corporation.

“I became a board member for the Selective Service to give back through service to my community. “ Mr. Galey said, “Community service is one way anyone can give back.”

“Registration with Selective Service is a responsibility of young men of this country to safeguard us against unforeseen threats.” he added. “Also, it is important to register to protect the benefits and privileges one many be eligible for, such as student loans and federal employment, but more importantly to be prepared to serve and protect the many freedoms of this great nation.”

“I would strongly encourage our U.S. citizens to volunteer service to our country.” Dr. Miller said, “This could be in many different ways, from active military service to reserve or guard duty or to volunteer to serve on Selective Service boards. We must not become lackadaisical in our attitude at a time when we have many who would destroy our freedoms and way of life.”

Selective Service also believes that if you want to get anything done, get a busy person to do it. Selective Service knows how busy today’s school superintendents are, but won’t hesitate to make this appeal.

Think about becoming a Selective Service local board member. Urge your colleagues to volunteer. What an ideal way to cap a career of public service!

More information is available here.


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Last Updated December 15, 2011
©2011 Selective Service System