|12-13-08 - DREAM - I was going out early in the
morning with my husband. Our car didn't work in the parking lot, so my
husband told me to get in this big old yellow station wagon, which
appeared to be from the 1950's and we drove to another place near a park
where my husband met someone he knew named Bob and his wife - who
called herself Tee.
My husband left me in
the car and went into the restaurant with Bob and they were talking and
talking and talking.
Finally they came out and I found out that his wife
Tee had been eating breakfast with them too.
I asked him how come I hadn't been invited in, and he
ignored me. I was really mad by now, because I hadn't been invited
to join in the conversation and all of a sudden he got out of the car and
went somewhere and left me in the car.
My daughter-in-law Debe and my son Ken appeared in
the park along with some other friends and I was talking to them, and then
they left to collect stacks of old newspapers.
I was waiting for my husband to come back, and all of
a sudden I heard this weird noise behind me, and I turned around and there
was my Father spraying the inside of the car with a bug sprayer like we had
back in the 40's.
I got mad because I was sitting in the car and he's
spraying for bugs, so I got out of the car on the driver's side, and all
of a sudden my Father goes and throws himself down on a bench and I went
over to see what was the matter and he started saying, "Ever since WWII
... C. F. Pirnie and the Koreans .... and he paused so I said,
"And?????" and he didn't say anymore and I woke up.
I looked up C.F. Purney and that didn't work,
so I tried Purney and that didn't give me anything, then google.com
suggested Pirnie - so I pursued Pirnie and found a lot of Pirnies killed
in the Korean war - but that still doesn't fit what my Father said.
However, I found that Representative Alexander Pirnie
was the head of the Selective Service System in 1969 - when they held the
last draft for the Vietnam war.
Selective Service System of the
United States held a
lottery to determine the order of
draft (induction) into the U.S. Army for the
a Representative from New York; born in Pulaski,
Oswego County, N.Y., April 16, 1903; graduated from Pulaski Academy
in 1920, Cornell University in 1924, and from Cornell Law School in
1926; was admitted to the bar in 1926 and commenced the practice of
law in Utica, N.Y.; in 1924 was commissioned a second lieutenant,
Infantry, Officers Reserve Corps; during the Second World War,
served in Europe and retired as a colonel; awarded Bronze Star and
Legion of Merit; elected as a Republican to the Eighty-sixth and to
the six succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1959-January 3, 1973); was
not a candidate for reelection in 1972 to the Ninety-third Congress;
member, Interparliamentary Union, 1965-1982; resumed the practice of
law; presiding officer of a clothing firm, Mohawk, N.Y., 1977-1980;
resided in Utica, N.Y. until his death in Canastota, N.Y. on June
12, 1982; interment in Pulaski Cemetery, Pulaski, N.Y.
Draft lottery (1969
Selective Service System of the
United States held a
lottery to determine the order of
draft (induction) into the U.S. Army for the
The days of the year, represented by the
numbers from 1 to 366 (including
Leap Day), were written on slips of paper and the slips were
placed in plastic capsules. The capsules were mixed in a shoebox
and then dumped into a deep glass jar. Capsules were drawn from
the jar one at a time.
The first day number drawn was 257 (September
14), so all registrants with that birthday were assigned
lottery number 1. Men of draft age (those born between 1944 and
1950) whose birthday fell on the corresponding day of the year
would all be drafted at the same time. The highest draft number
called from the 1969 lottery was number 195 (September
1969 draft lottery scatterplot. A
scatterplot of the days of the year (horizontal axis)
and their ranks (vertical axis) shows a noticeable absence
of days in December with high ranks (later induction).
A secondary lottery was also held on the same
day, to construct a random permutation of the 26 letters of the
alphabet. For men born on a given day, the order of induction was
determined by the rank of the first letters of their last, first,
and middle names.
The lottery was conducted again in 1970 (for
those born in 1951), 1971 (1952) and 1972 (1953), although the
1972 lottery went unused as the draft itself was suspended in
1973. Lotteries were also conducted in 1973, 1974 and 1975
although the assigned numbers went unused.
The draft lottery was first and foremost a
complicated and not so much a sophisticated process that confused
the population, specifically the people concerned in the contest.
Consequences were felt all over America on the short-term as well
as for a long period of time. The military draft during the
Vietnam era built resentment towards military involvement of the
United States in wars abroad, especially when they were
specifically threatening for the American people but more so to
the ideology of democracy and the 'free-thinking' society the
American government preaches.
In the late 1960s, President Nixon
established a commission to study what the best option was to get
more military manpower, to keep the current drafting methods or
institute a volunteer military. After much debate within the Nixon
administration and the Congress, it was decided that an
all-volunteer force was feasible, affordable, and would enhance
the nation’s security. According to the department of defense in
2003, an all-volunteer force is and would have been more
The 1960s period in the United States was a
turmoil, beginning with the Civil Rights Movement which set
the standards for practices by the anti-war movement.
In 1968, more than any other year, young
American men were drafted to join the military service; over 536
100 men were drafted,
a jump from the preceding year's numbers of 485 600 men. Question
arose as to why the military needed to implement a draft lottery
if the numbers were at their highest. The year of the draft
lottery, 1969, the Vietnam troop levels went down to 475 200
and from then on continued to fall under the end of the draft in
1973 when it closed at 24 200.
In 1969, the draft lottery only encouraged
the growth of the resentment of the war in Vietnam, and the draft.
The anti-war movement all over America took a turn for the worst.
People decried its discriminating ways "against low-education,
low-income, underprivileged members of society"It
was quickly noticed that draft ranks were not uniformly
distributed over the year. In particular, birthdays in December
had lower (earlier) draft ranks, on average, than birthdays in
other months. This led to complaints that the lottery was not
random as the legislation required. Analysis of the lottery method
suggested that the procedure (mixing the capsules in the shoe box
and dumping them into the jar) did not mix the capsules
sufficiently; however, the less-than-random lottery
was allowed to stand.
Another consequence of the draft lottery is
that draftees are more likely to quit or to leave their post after
their two-year service. The turn-over made military expenses rise
because of the training of new drafted members as well as higher
The draft lottery had social and economic
consequences; draft evaders or 'dodgers', who were generally
young, well-educated, healthy men, left the country and could have
contributed positively in the American society and economy if not
for the draft. These draft evaders chose to move north to Canada,
who was not involved in the Vietnam conflict, or chose to face the
legal sanctions of not attending military service, showing their
disapproval by either burning their draft cards or letters or just
simply not presenting themselves at the military service test.
Numbers of American citizens to have escaped to Canada during the
Vietnam war because of the draft is set to be around 125 000,
although half are said to have returned to the United States after
the Nixon era.
The lottery was improved in the following
years, but public discontent only continue to grow until the draft
ended on July 1st 1973.
In the 1970 and subsequent draft lotteries, a
different method was used. Scientists at the
National Bureau of Standards randomly prepared 78 permutations
of the numbers from 1 to 365, using random numbers selected from
From the 78 permutations, 25 were selected at
random and translated to calendars using 1 = January 1, 365 =
December 31, etc. The calendars were sealed into envelopes. 25
more permutations were selected and left untranslated and sealed
into 25 more envelopes. The 50 envelopes were furnished to the
Selective Service System.
On 29 June, an official picked one of the
calendar envelopes and one of the permutation envelopes. The 365
days of the year were written down and placed into capsules and
put in a drum in the order dictated by the contents of the
calendar envelope. Similarly, the numbers from 1 to 365 were
written down and placed into capsules in the order dictated by the
permutation in the permutation envelope.
On 1 July, the drawing date, one drum was
rotated for an hour and the other for a half-hour (its rotating
Pairs of capsules were then drawn, one from
each drum. The first date out of the drum with the date capsules
was September 16; the first number drawn from the drum with the
numbers was 139. Thus men born on September 16th were drafted in
139th order. The 11th draws were the date July 9 and the number 1,
so men born on July 9 were drafted first.
- S.E. Fienberg. "Randomization and Social
Affairs: The 1970 Draft Lottery". Science, volume 171,
pages 255-261 (1971). (Cited by Starr as the "best and most
comprehensive" article on the topic)
- D.E. Rosenbaum. "Statisticians Charge
Draft Lottery Was Not Random," New York Times, January 4, 1970,
- Selective Service System: History and
- Norton Starr. "Nonrandom Risk: The 1970
Draft Lottery". Journal of Statistics Education, volume
5, number 2 (1997). (Also available on-line:
 Contains a lesson plan for statistics class using the
1970 and 1971 draft lottery data)
^ (The Cost of the
Draft and the Cost of Ending the Draft, Anthony C. Fisher, The
American Economic Review, Vol. 59, No. 3 (Jun., 1969)
J. R. Rosenblatt, J. J. Filliben (1971) "Randomization and the
Draft Lottery" Science, Volume 171, pp. 306–308
|Some of your grandparents or great-grandparents may remember this:
The World War One Draft - Reporting of the First Draft Lottery -
Draft lottery selects 1,374,000 men for examination to provide
687,000 of first increment troops others of 10,000,000 are
definitely listed for future service; Baker draws the first number.
Gen. Crowder, Gen. Bliss, Senator Chamberlain and
Representatives Dent and Kahn also select capsules from the 10,500
in the great glass bowl in senate office building room where drawing
continues until morning.
Newspapermen present drafted—society women in night
throngs—scenes and incidents that thrill.
Selective conscription was put into effect yesterday
with a national lottery to fix the order of military liability for
the 10,000,000 young Americans registered for service. To accomplish
the result, 10,500 numbers had to be drawn one at a time, a task
which began at 10 a. m. and continued far into this morning.
When the 10,004th capsule was drawn at 1:30 a. m. it was found
to be a blank, the first to be found in the drawing. Gen. Crowder
ordered a space to be left blank and the next number to be drawn.
As the 10,500 numbers are more than enough to cover the men
needed or listed, the effect of this blank will probably be
negligible. The last number was drawn at 2:18 a. m. No. 2 was drawn
at exactly 2 a. m., and was the 10,312th to be drawn.
The lottery was held in the public hearing room of the Senate
office building, with War Department officials in charge of the
actual drawing, and with members of the Senate and House military
committees as witnesses.
Force Ordered to the Colors
As a result of the drawing every registered man is given a
definite place in the liability for service list. Already 687,000
have been ordered to the colors to fill to war strength the regular
army and national guard and to constitute the first increment of the
national army. To secure that total 1,374,000 men will be called for
examination within a few weeks, estimating that two registrants must
be called for every soldier accepted. These 1,374,000 will be taken
from the head of the liability list, every local district furnishing
a. fixed quota.
The drawing yesterday was conducted with ceremonies as
democratic as the ideal called for by citizenship.
Scene as in Theater
The stage was carefully set in room 226 Senate office
building-. It might have been a scene in a theater, but there was
nothing of the theatrical about It, although there was drama— the
drama of lives and fortunes in the balance. Along one side of the
big room were rows of chairs for the witnesses. At the end was a
tremendous blackboard blocked oft for 500 numbers In front of the
blackboard was a double-length table and in front of that a smaller
table, on which reposed a great glass jar.
The jar had a top of thick manila paper hound around it by
five rounds of tough twine, with a seal on the twine In the bottom
thousands of grayish black capsules showed. There were 10.500 of
them and they piled up for more than four inches inside the bowl, a
thick mass. Stuck among them was a huge wooden spoon with red, white
and blue bunting tied to the handle.
Cameras Set for Pictures
Along the other side of the room was a long table, with more
than 100 chairs around it. That was for the press. Scattered in
every available bit of vacant space between the tables were the
carbon lights of moving picture operators, a "movie" camera beside
Other cameras were placed in position here and there.
That was the scene which greeted the early arrivals. The
opening of the draft had been set for 9:30 o'clock. Gen. Crowder was
there at 9. He had been to his office for an hour before and arrived
at the Senate office building in a big; motor car bearing the
The bowl and its contents "were under personal charge of Maj.
Gen. C. A. Duvol assigned by Secretary Baker to the task.
Accompanying the two generals were members of Gen. Crowder's
staff—Maj. Hugh Johnson, executive officer and father of the draft
plan, Maj.Allen H. Gullion, publicity director of the draft, and
The bowl was brought in and placed on the table. At 9.20
Secretary of War Baker arrived He wore a Palm Beach suit, which
stood out in broad contrast to the dull khaki of the officers.
Congress Members Arrive
Wearing every type of male apparel from the congressional
“Jimswinger” to pongee summer suits, the House and Senate military
affairs committees |trooped in and took their seats. They were
solemn of visage and grave of men. High military chiefs arrived in
an automobile shortly after Secretary Baker.
Maj. Gen. Tasker H. Bliss and Adj. Gen. Henry P. McCain, with
staff officers, were among them. The minute hand of the clock neared
9:30. The tally clerks seated themselves at the long table in the
rear of the room. Gen. Duvol took up his position before the bowl.
The announcers stood next to him. Seated behind a small desk "which
had been placed near the end of the tally clerk's table Secretary
Baker was chatting with Gen. Bliss and Gen. McCain when the hand
reached, 9:30. - Not a second was lost. He rapped sharply for order
and all sound ceased. Everyone seemed to stop talking
Secretary Baker's Words
Secretary Baker lost no time in preliminaries "Gentlemen," he
said, "this is a solemn and historic moment. We come here to
determine which of 10,000,000 of our young men who have registered
for national service will be selected to answer the President's call
for an army of 687,100 and what the position of the others will be
for service in the future.
"This is the first time in our history that we are to have a
demonstration of selecting men from the nation for service. These
men have all registered and are waiting. For them I bespeak the
honor of the nation. They are not conscripts. They are men who are
chosen from among their fellows in a nation-wide selection and they
are on an equal footing with any other man in the army or navy.
"It has been made necessary to draw 10,500 numbers to
determine the order in which these men shall serve. Before we
proceed with the drawing the machinery will be explained by Provost
Marshal Gen. Crowder."
Gen. Crowder Speaks
Gen. Crowder spoke for less than five minutes. He told how the
drawing would be made—how inside the glass jar were the 10,500
gelatin capsules—just like five grain quinine capsules—and inside
each capsule was a number written on a little slip of paper in red
On one side the -paper was white and the red ink stood out
like a drop of blood. On the other the paper was black so that it
would be opaque through the transparent capsule and the number could
not be seen.
Baker Draws First Number
"Let us proceed," said Secretary Baker, when Gen. Crowder had
concluded. His last suggestion was that the Secretary should draw
the first number.
"I shall draw the first number," said Secretary Baker, "and I
ask that the chairmen of the Senate and House military committees,
official witnesses at this historic occasion, draw the second and
"And Gen. Crowder shall draw the fourth."
"No," broke in Gen. Crowder, "Gen. Bliss as chief of staff
shall draw the fourth."
Gen. Duval broke the seal on the cord about the bowl and stuck
his fist through the covering of paper. He ripped away the paper and
reaching down stirred the capsules with the great spoon.
After he had been blindfolded, Mr. Baker, Secretary of War,
plunged his hand into the large glass jar containing the 10,500
numbers enclosed in capsules. He drew one forth and passed it to a
clerk who opened it and announced the number "258." Thus the drawing
began. The date was July 20, 1917.
Secretary Baker Blindfolded
Secretary Baker removed his eyeglasses and one of Gen.
Crowder's assistants tied a white handkerchief around his head,
blindfolding him. The Secretary was led to a position behind the
bowl and facing those as he stirred the capsules with the spoon
Dropping the spoon he stuck his hand among the pellets and brought
it up again.
"258" Is First Drawn.
"I have drawn the first number," said Mr. Baker in a tone of a
man who has done an epochal thing. He held the tiny capsule aloft An
announcer took it from him and broke the capsule, taking out the
"The number is 258," he cried
"Two hundred and fifty-eight," echoed the voice of the tally
chief. Another attendant posted the numerals "258" on the blackboard
in the rear.
There was a flutter of copy paper from the table where the
newspaper workers sat. Messenger boys bearing slips of paper darted
through the crowded aisle and through the packed mass of men and
women at the door in the rear. They were carrying to telegraph wires
which had been set up in an adjoining corridor the news, flashed in
a moment from Maine to California and from Oregon to Florida, that
all men with cards numbered 258 would be first called to serve.
Ablaze for "Movie" Men
The drawing had been made in a glare of calcium lights, set
ablaze by the movie men the moment the Secretary reached toward the
bowl burning carbon filled the air, while the battery of cameras
clicked at high speed. A picture was being filmed such as never
before had been taken It was a picture not alone for this
generation, but for those to come. It epitomized America fighting
the battle of democracy against the crumbling old order —America
efficiency. Senator Chamberlain, chairman of the Senate military
affairs committee, then was blindfolded and stepped up to draw a
number. He was plainly nervous and could not seem to locate the
pellets in the bottom of the bowl.
Finally one of the announcers took his arm and pressed his
hand down toward them The Senator withdrew a capsule It was opened.
Drawn by Congress Members
"Two thousand, five hundred and fiftv-two" cried the
announcer. In turn Representative Dent, chairman of the House
committee, and Senator Warren, ranking Republican on the Senate
committee drew numbers. They were, respectively, 9,613 and 4,532.
Then came Representative Kahn, ranking Republican on the House
committee and the man who took command of the draft bill in the
House and smashed it through to passage. The blindfolding
handkerchief hardly reached around his massive head. Curly white
hair tumbled over the band He reached down and took out a pellet The
number as announced was 10,218 There was only one district with a
10,218 in it, so the number drafted only one man.
Crowd Cheers Gen. Crowder
Gen Bliss then stepped up, straight and poised in his tailored
khaki. Until then the crowd had been silent to a point where the
silence was oppressive. The men in mufti had impressed but; not
stirred it. But the service khaki hit the spectators between the
eyes and they clapped madly. Gen. Bliss drew No 458.
Then came Gen Crowder and the crowd broke into cheers. It was
almost a minute before quiet was restored and the number was
announced as 3,403.
Gen McCain advanced amid more applause and drew 10,016
"The moving-picture men will now take their apparatus
outside," Secretary Baker announced, "and the drawing will continue
with the officials selected in charge”
There was a clatter as cameras and Calcium lights were picked
up and a tramp of feet as the "camera squad," coatless and
collarless in most cases, marched out with their apparatus.
Settle for Long Siege
The crowd settled itself for a long siege Coats were shed at
the press table and "Jim" Preston ordered the doors closed. Before
noon there was ample evidence that the draft was not proceeding as
quickly as Gen Crowder and other officials had anticipated and
suggestions were made that as many numbers as possible be drawn by 6
o'clock and the others left over for a second drawing today But Gen.
Crowder refused to listen He declared that the work must be finished
if it lasted until after dawn. He doubled the reliefs, but refused
any further let-up. '
From the quiet assemblage of grave officials, who witnessed
the drawing of the first number, the crowd in the great room also
changed and shifted as the hours went on.
Woman Clerks Look On
First other senators and representatives came, taking the
places of those who went outside for a breath of air.
Then came employee from their offices. For a time the room was
filled with women clerks and stenographers, gathered from the House
and Senate office buildings, seeking to satisfy their curiosity They
came in with open eyes and went out with grave faces.
Drafts One of Writers
Grouped around the press table among the hundred or more men
sending the numbers broadcast over the country as fast as they were
drawn were many subject to draft.
Less than 500 numbers had been called when tile government
first reached down to the press table and selected a man He was
working at high speed at the time, recording numbers and sending
them to a telegraph ware in the corridor outside by double shifts of
A dark, youthful looking lad, he had just chatted across the
table to a couple of his fellow partners during a moment's
intermission about the draft affecting the ones around.
Goes On With the Work
"Got any of you people yet'" he inquired.
"No," was the answer. "How about you'"
"They haven't called mine," he said back, just as the calling
of numbers was resumed. He was working ahead at high pressure when a
low number was called—750, or something like that His lips barely
moved as he wrote down the number, but faintly across the table came
the words, "That's me" He didn't change expression; it might have
been quite impersonal, so far as his attitude was concerned.
But when his relief came he spoke about it "I'm inside the
first 500," he said. "I ought to be second man in our company,
Outside, operating a wire over which numbers were being
telegraphed to all parts of the country, was another eligible. He
hadn't more than read down 75 numbers when he came across his own.
Hopes for Signal Corps
"Well, I guess I’ll try for the signal corps." he remarked, as
he ticked the number off on the key "I'll be of most use there."
Two brothers were filing numbers to a Chicago newspaper They
have been "in the game" together for years, working side by side,
each a well-known newspaper man.
One was by himself at luncheon when a group of friends joined
him "They drew my brother Just before I came out," he said "How far
along are they now?’
One of the men engaged in drawing numbers—one of the
blindfolded youths engaged for the work by Gen. Crowder —drew his
own ticket for the front He heard the announcer call it, but he
didn't even hesitate. The next number was waiting for the second
announcer when he put out his hand.
Free From Demonstrations
And it was like that throughout the day The drawing was
remarkably free from personal demonstrations, or of emotion. There
were no tear-stained mothers pleading for their boys, there were no
mock heroics and no trembling of cowardice. It was at the
registration headquarters, where the numbers were being received for
cities, that these scenes took place.
Gen. Crowder was the heart and nerves of the draft machine
throughout all the weary hours of the.
In his khaki uniform in the hottest hours of the day, calm
when all was excitement around him, he guided by advice and directed
with crisp words the men who were carrying on the work On several
occasions he initiated changes designed to speed up the work and
make it less difficult for the men. One of these was the calling of
numbers by numerals, such as 4-6-7-9, instead of the longer method
of "four thousand six hundred and seventy-nine."
Food and cooling drinks were provided in profusion, and toward
evening Gen. Crowder by telephone mobilized a fleet of automobiles
in which the wearied tellers and announcers might take short spine
between "tricks" in order to freshen themselves with clean air.
Men Who Did the Work
The men actively engaged in the work were either officers of
Gen. Crowder's staff, civilian employees of his office or college
men especially selected for the duty. The latter were headed by
James L. Phillips, of Princeton, secretary of the intercollegiate
intelligence bureau, which is associated with the Council of
National Defense, and has furnished more than 4,000 men to the war
service of the government; G. W. Thompson, of Denver, of the
organization's staff, and Dean Ferson, of George Washington
University. More than 25 students of various colleges were on the
force engaged in the drawing. Gen. Crowder’s experts kept the tally
sheets. As they were drawn from the great bowl, the numbers were
"We are keeping them as a backcheck, in case of any questions
arising about certain numbers," said Gen. Crowder. "They will be
carefully and safely put away."
By 3 o'clock the floor was covered with broken capsules and the
workers were fagged and uncomfortable in their sticky clothes, but
the drive went on. At that hour something more than 2,000 numbers
had been drawn.
By 4-30 o'clock the first quota was practically completed.
First Quota Is Drawn
Officials estimated that it was furnished by the first 8.000
numbers Some of these were very high, drawing only a few men, while
the majority of the districts averaged around 3,000, so there was a
little doubt. But not much.
It was generally conceded that there had been enough numbers
below 3,000 in the first 3,000 drawn to fill the quota of 1,374,000
ordered up for examination in order that 687,000 men might be
selected from them.
The opinion prevailed that a greater number may have to be
ordered up for examination, as the figure now set only allows a 50
per cent loss for physical disability and all other exemptions. In
case this proves true the next men in line will be called for
Little Possibility of Hitch
The work proceeded so smoothly up to late into the night that
there appeared to be no possibility of a hitch.
Gen. Crowder, however, refused to leave for an instant. He is
plainly worried, despite the absolute accuracy, up to this time, of
the draft. "Should anything go wrong it would throw the entire
country into turmoil," he said. "I can conceive of nothing which
would invalidate this draft”. Such "a thing: is incomprehensible
Should any last-minute mistake occur or fault appear I will
carry the case to Secretary of War Baker for presentation to the
"I do not expect any such misfortune, but It is just as well
to be prepared as we are all human."
Appearance of Unlucky "13."
As the hours dragged on the drawing became slower and slower.
Wearied officials were driving themselves to each new move. Clicking
outside the draft room were a number of telegraph instruments which
for hours had been sending number after number to a waiting nation.
The numbers were thoroughly mixed. No numbers consecutive to each
other were drawn in the entire course of the day. Number 13 was the
7890th to be drawn
This means that the men holding it may not be ordered up for
more than a year, if at all. The day was Friday.
Not One Error Found
Up to an early hour, this morning there had not been an error
of any kind. Every one of the four tally sheets on which the numbers
were recorded as drawn agreed, and already printed proofs of the
earlier tally sheets had been received from the government printing
office The room was filled at night Capital society, especially of
the congressional set, made a social function of the drawing.
Brilliantly gowned women occupied many of the seats Family parties
and after dinner groups witnessed the drawing.
Examination to Come Next
The numbers drawn yesterday ranged from No. 1 to No. 10,500
The order in which they were drawn determined the order in which men
having corresponding numbers on their registration cards will be
liable for service.
All that remains after the draft is the question of
examination and exemption.
Yesterday's event is the last the national government will
have to do with raising an army by universal selection. The States
are now responsible.
They must see that the men called are examined and, if chosen,
that they report for service Only after they join the colors will
the Federal government resume responsibility. Registrants will
receive no official word of their order of liability until their
local boards summon them for examination after official records of
the drawing have been transmitted to them by mail. Preparations of
those records will begin today.
Source: The Washington Post, Saturday, July 21, 1917, Pages
1918 DRAFT LOTTERY ENDED IN 2 HOURS;
Officials Make Quick Work of Drawing Key Numbers for 744,000 New
Registrants. 246 FIRST OUT OF THE BOWL "Major" Billie Wellborn,
a Young Woman, Completes the Job After Baker and Others Start
Jun 28, 1918, Friday
WASHINGTON, June 27.--Swiftly and without
a hitch, the second draft lottery, affecting 744,000 men who
have become 21 since June 5 last year, was held today in the
Senate Office Building. Newton D. Baker, Secretary of War,
groped into the jar for the first capsule, Senator Chamberlain
of the Military Committee drew the second.
continued in PDF
Selective Training and Service Act of 1940
The Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, also known
as the Burke-Wadsworth Act, 54 Stat. 885
was passed by the Congress of the United States on
becoming the first peacetime
United States history when President
Franklin D. Roosevelt signed it into law two days later. This
Selective Service Act required that men between the ages of 21 and
30 register with local draft boards. Later, when the U.S. entered
World War II, all men aged 18 to 45 were made liable for military
service, and all men aged 18 to 65 were required to register.
Effects of the Act
Signed into law by Franklin Roosevelt in 1940, the Act
established the first peace-time draft in United States history.
Under the Selective Training and Service Act, all American males
between twenty-one and thirty-five years of age registered for the
draft. The government selected men through a lottery system. If
drafted, a man served for twelve months. According to the
Selective Training and Service Act's provisions, drafted soldiers
had to remain in the United States or in United States possessions
or territories elsewhere in the world. The act provided that not
more than 900,000 men were to be in training at any one time, and
it limited service to 12 months.
Section 5(g) of the Act contained a provision for
- Nothing contained in this Act shall be constructed to
require any person to be subject to combatant training and
service in the land and naval forces of the United States who,
by reason of religious training and belief, is conscientiously
opposed to participation in war in any form.
- Any such person claiming such exemption from combatant
training and service because of such conscientious objections
whose claim is sustained by the local draft board shall, if he
is inducted into the land or naval forces under this Act, be
assigned to noncombatant service as defined by the President, or
shall if he is found to be conscientiously opposed to
participation in such noncombatant service, in lieu of such
induction, be assigned to work of national importance under
The draft began in October 1940. By the early summer of
Franklin Roosevelt asked the U.S. Congress to extend the term
of duty for the draftees beyond twelve months. On August 12, the
United States House of Representatives approved the extension by a
As Karl R. Bendetson said, "Mr. Rayburn banged the gavel at a
critical moment and declared the Bill had passed."
 The Senate approved it by a wider margin, and Roosevelt
signed the bill into law on August 18.
Many of the soldiers drafted in October 1940 threatened to
desert once the original twelve months of their service was up.
Many of these men painted the letters "O," "H," "I," and "O"
(OHIO) on the walls of their barracks in protest.
These letters were an acronym for "Over the hill in October,"
which meant that the men intended to desert upon the end of their
twelve months of duty. Desertions did occur, but they were not
widespread. Following the Japanese
Attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on
thousands of American men and women swelled the United States'
military's ranks by volunteering for service, and thousands more
After the United States entered World War II, a new
selective service act made men between 18 and 45 liable for
military service and required all men between 18 and 65 to
register. The terminal point of service was extended to six months
after the war. From 1940 until 1947—when the wartime selective
service act expired after extensions by Congress—over 10,000,000
men were inducted.
In 1948, a new selective service act was passed that
required all men aged 18 to 26 to register and that made men aged
19 to 26 liable for 21 months' service, which would be followed by
5 years of reserve duty.
Though the United States halted conscription in 1973, the
Selective Service remains as a means to register American males
upon reaching the age of 18 as a contingency should the measure be
reintroduced. The registration requirement was suspended in April
1975, but reinstituted in 1980. Married people could be deferred.
232-124 in the House, with 186 Democrats and 46 Republicans in
favor, 32 Democrats, 88 Republicans, and 4 others against.
47-25 in the Senate, with 40 Democrats and 7 Republicans in
favor, 13 Democrats, 10 Republicans, and 2 others against.
"Final Roll-Calls on Draft Bill", The New York Times,
September 15, 1940
Holbrook, Heber A.
The Crisis Years: 1940 and 1941, The Pacific Ship and
Shore Historical Review,
Keim, Albert N. (1990). The CPS Story, Good Books.
203-202, with 182 Democrats and 21 Republicans in favor, 65
Democrats, 133 Republicans, and 4 others against. "House Vote
on Draft Bill", The New York Times, August 13, 1941
Bill to Restore the Draft Is Defeated in the House
Trying to quiet fears of a return of the draft, the House
Republican leadership engaged in a hasty call-up of its own on
Tuesday. The Republicans brought to the floor a
Democratic-sponsored proposal to reinstate mandatory military
service and presided over its overwhelming defeat on a vote of 402
"We're going to put a nail in that coffin," said the House
majority leader, Representative Tom DeLay of Texas. He accused
Democrats of generating opposition to
President Bush - especially on college campuses - by raising
the idea that the draft might be re-established after the November
election to provide troops for service in Iraq.
Democrats were outraged at the tactic, charging Republicans
with a cynical political ploy on a matter that merited more
thoughtful hearings and debate. The Democrats originally
introduced the measure early last year as a way to protest the
war, even before it began, and to spotlight how low- and
middle-income Americans shoulder much of the burden of serving in
"It is a prostitution of the legislative process to take a
serious issue and use it for political purposes on the eve of the
election just to say they are against the draft," said
Representative Charles B. Rangel, Democrat of New York, the author
of the bill, who ended up voting against it.
With the military strained by its operations in Iraq and
Afghanistan, talk of a return of the draft - discontinued in 1973
during the Vietnam War - has persisted, fueled by e-mail and
Internet chatter warning of a new draft once the election is
concluded. The activist group Rock the Vote, which seeks to
register young Americans to vote, has also broadcast public
service announcements pointing to the draft as an important
Members of Congress are regularly asked about the idea as
well, often by worried parents.
"This is the issue that will not go away," said
Representative Jim McDermott, Democrat of Washington. He and other
Democrats suggested again on Tuesday that Mr. Bush's re-election
could mean a return of the draft, because the administration is
already calling back reservists and halting the discharge of
Senator John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate, has
referred to such moves as a backdoor draft.
"How big a step is it from where we are right now to the
president saying it is the national interest that everyone serve?"
asked Mr. McDermott.
Republicans portrayed such claims as part of a pre-election
fraud. "The reason we are doing this is to expose the hoax of the
year, which has been needlessly scaring young people," said
Representative Duncan Hunter of California, chairman of the Armed
Administration officials including Mr. Bush and Defense
Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld have said they have absolutely no
plans to restore the draft and believe that the all-volunteer
military is the proper way to field troops. Both of them have
reiterated that position in recent days.
"We will not have a draft so long as I'm the president of
the United States," Mr. Bush said to applause from a crowd in Iowa
"We do not need a draft," Mr. Rumsfeld said during a radio
interview with Sean Hannity. "We've got, you know, 295 million
people in this country and we have an active force of about 1.4
million and we are having no trouble at all attracting and
retaining the people that we need to serve in the Armed Forces."
Some Democrats said it was the administration's loss of
credibility due to the failure to find chemical and biological
weapons in Iraq and its mishandling of the aftermath that was to
blame for worry about the draft. "The president's foreign policy
is scaring the kids of this country," said Representative Tim
Ryan, Democrat of Ohio.
The Internet traffic on the draft often cites as evidence of
a future draft the measure sponsored by Mr. Rangel, which would
require two years of military service or the alternative of
national service, as well as its companion in the Senate sponsored
by Senator Ernest F. Hollings, Democrat of South Carolina.
The issue has also gotten an airing from Rock the Vote.
Officials of the group have said the draft is a subject that
should be addressed in detail by the presidential contenders. "We
are not saying there is going to be a draft," said Jay Strell, a
spokesman for the group. "What we are saying is we need to have an
open an honest dialogue about this based on the facts."
With lawmakers acutely aware of the potential political
ramifications of backing a draft, the Rangel measure languished
without much attention until the Republican leadership decided to
force it to the floor to make a political point.
One lawmaker spoke in favor of the bill, saying it was time
Congress gave some thought to future military manpower needs.
"I believe we have to start looking at this right now," said
Representative John Murtha of Pennsylvania, a leading Democrat on
military issues. He was joined in backing the bill by
Representative Fortney Stark, Democrat of California.
Senate officials said they had no intention of acting on a
similar proposal, but the Democratic leader, Senator Tom Daschle,
said he doubted the House vote would put the matter to rest.
"I would expect you're going to continue to see debates
about the viability of a draft as we move forward," Mr. Daschle
|IRAQ - 2005
All the U.S. saber-rattling at Iran and Syria has
me worried about the draft. I strongly sense that one is coming.
Medical workers vulnerable if Congress reinstates the draft
Published in the Asbury Park Press 02/17/05
By MARTIN L. HAINES
Most of our available soldiers —
120,000 to 150,000 — are in Iraq. They are a major part of what is
misleadingly referred to as a "volunteer" army. A large percentage
of them signed up, pre-Iraq, for weekend-summer-camp services, with
discharge promised on a reasonable date in the near future. That
promise was broken when the war in Iraq began. The volunteers soon
had their terms of service arbitrarily extended — a draft without
resort to law.
Implementation of the Selective Service law may be imminent. A plan
for the drafting of medical workers (doctors, nurses and
technicians), only recently exposed, has been in place for several
years. It can be activated at any time by a decision of the
president and the Congress. That decision is unlikely unless we face
a national emergency, an emergency far from unlikely in view of the
daily crises troubling the world and the policies of our current
government, which have overextended our military's resources,
especially its medical resources.
If a medical workers' draft is activated, the process is to move
rapidly. Congress will enact appropriate legislation. Health care
workers, aged 20 to 44, estimated to number 13.5 million, will be
obliged to register within 13 days. Women, for the first time, will
be included. Sixty-two medical specialties are involved. Workers
will be selected by specialty in a draft lottery. The highest number
of prospective draftees mentioned in the press is 80,000.
The Selective Service tested the plan in 2004 using focus groups.
All groups were resistant to a medical draft and concerned about the
ability to train personnel quickly and the length of service that
will be required. If the draft comes, it may come in gradual,
discriminatory steps — first medical, then other groups with special
skills, then the unskilled. Few people want a draft of any kind, but
Iraq may require one sooner than later.
Martin L. Haines, of Moorestown, is a retired Superior Court judge
and a former State Bar Association president.
|HOW WOULD A FUTURE DRAFT LOTTERY WORK?
Here is a brief overview of what would occur if the United
States returned to a draft:
1. CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT AUTHORIZE A DRAFT. A crisis
occurs which requires more troops than the volunteer military can
supply. Congress passes and the President signs legislation which
starts a draft. It should be noted that the President cannot
initiate a draft on his own. Congress would first have to pass
legislation (both the House and Senate), and the President would
have to sign the bill into law.
2. THE LOTTERY. A lottery based on birthdays determines the
order in which registered men are called up by Selective Service.
The first to be called, in a sequence determined by the lottery,
will be men whose 20th birthday falls during that year, followed,
if needed, by those aged 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25. 18-year-olds and
those turning 19 would probably not be drafted.
3. ALL PARTS OF SELECTIVE SERVICE ARE ACTIVATED. The Agency
activates and orders its State Directors and Reserve Forces
Officers to report for duty.
4. PHYSICAL, MENTAL, AND MORAL EVALUATION OF REGISTRANTS.
Registrants with low lottery numbers are 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. It is possible that Congress could
decide to lessen the standards during a draft. However, Congress
would have to do so by either including the changed standards in
the draft legislation, or by separate legislative action.
5. LOCAL AND APPEAL BOARDS ACTIVATED AND INDUCTION NOTICES
SENT. Local and Appeal Boards will process registrant claims.
Those who pass the military evaluation will receive induction
orders. An inductee will have 10 days to report to a local
Military Entrance Processing Station for induction.
6. FIRST DRAFTEES ARE INDUCTED. According to current plans,
Selective Service must deliver the first inductees to the military
within 193 days from the effective date of draft
legislation.(Credit: Rod Powers at about.com, 11/27/06)
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 14, 2006
RANGEL REINTRODUCES DRAFT BILL
||WASHINGTON - Lawmaker Says Volunteer Military
May be Overwhelmed by Military Challenges in Iran, North Korea and
Syria requiring more troops who will have to be drafted
Congressman Charles Rangel today introduced new legislation to
reinstate the military draft that will include draftees up to 42
years of age.
"Every day that the military option is on the table, as
declared by the President in his State of the Union address, in
Iran, North Korea, and Syria, reinstatement of the military draft
is an option that must also be considered, whether w>The bill would mandate military service for men and women
between the ages of 18 and 42. Deferments would be allowed only
for completion of high school up to the age of 20, and for reasons
of health, conscience or religious belief. Recruits not needed by
the military in any given year would be required to perform some
national civilian service.
"My bill conforms to the age standards that have been set by
the Army itself," Congressman Rangel said, referring to the Army's
recent announcement raising the top age for Army volunteers from
39 to 42. "With volunteers now being accepted up to the age of
42, it makes sense to cap the age of draftees at 42," Congressman
Congressman Rangel first proposed legislation for the draft
in January 2003 before the invasion of Iraq. Since then more than
2,200 American troops have been killed and 16,000 wounded.
Despite dramatic increases in military bonuses, the Army failed to
meet its recruiting goal last year by 6,000 recruits. In the face
of that failure, last month the Army announced that it was
doubling enlistment bonuses to $40,000 for Special Forces.
Enlistment bonuses for Reservists were also doubled to $20,000
from $10,000. Reenlistment bonuses for specialized active duty
soldiers were also increased drastically, going from $60,000 to
"The Pentagon's own researchers have reported that the
military is broken and there's no plan to fix it," Congressman
Rangel said. "It's not unusual for active-duty and Reserve units
to see two and three deployments. Troops are spending about a
third of the time on deployment, instead of a fifth of the time,
as preferred, to adequately rest, train and rebuild units.
”Our military is more like a mercenary force than a citizen
militia. It is dominated by men and women who need an economic
leg-up. Bonuses of up to $40,000 and a promise of college tuition
look very good to someone from an economically depressed urban or
rural community. But, as events unfold in Iran, Syria and North
Korea and become even more dangerous, at what point will the risks
outweigh the attraction of money--even to the hungriest recruits?
"I don't expect my bill to pass; my purpose in introducing
this legislation is for it to serve as a constant reminder that we
have lost 2,200 of the best, brightest and bravest Americans, have
had thousands more maimed, and countless Iraqi citizens killed. As
the President speaks of a national response involving the military
option, military service should be a shared sacrifice. Right now
the only people being asked to sacrifice in any way are those men
and women who with limited options chose military service and now
find themselves in harm's way in Iraq. A draft would ensure that
every economic group would have to do their share, and not allow
some to stay behind while other people's children do the fighting.
"It is shameful for high ranking government officials who
have never placed themselves in harm's way to promote military
solutions as a substitute for diplomacy. It's disheartening to
hear the most strident champions of war in Iraq or anywhere else
who have never thought or voted in Congress to send their own
children to war.
"I dare anyone to try to convince me that this war is not
being fought predominantly by tough, loyal, and patriotic young
men and women from the barren hills and towns of rural and
underprivileged neighborhoods in urban America where unemployment
is high and opportunities are few. As we see who are the troops
coming home wounded and killed, I challenge anyone to tell me that
the wealthiest have not been excluded from that roll call.
The Republican Leadership responded to my first bill by
procedurally preventing debate on the issues it raised; let us see
how they try to avoid facing the question of shared sacrifice this
WASHINGTON, DC OFFICE
2354 Rayburn House
Washington, DC 20515
NEW YORK OFFICE
163 W. 125th Street #737
New York, NY 10027
By Rick Maze -
Posted : Saturday Jan 13, 2007
The Air Force Times
Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., introduced a
new military draft bill Wednesday and a
resolution calling on the Defense Department
to drop all restrictions on families, the
public and the media being present when the
remains of service members arrive and depart
from military bases.
Neither of his proposals have much chance
His draft bill is HR 393. The resolution on
watching the arrival and departure of remains
from bases in the U.S. and overseas is HConRes
29. Both measures were referred to the House
Armed Services Committee for consideration.
Rangel said HR 393 “requires that, during
wartime, all legal residents of the U.S.
between the ages of 18 and 42 would be subject
to a military draft.” The number of people
drafted would be left to the president.
“No deferments would be allowed beyond the
completion of high school, up to age 20,
except for conscientious objectors or those
with health problems,” he said.
The bill also would mandate that anyone not
needed in the military would have to serve two
years of civilian service, working in
hospitals or in homeland security jobs.
“President Bush warned the nation that we
are in for further sacrifices in Iraq. But the
truth is, the sacrifice is being borne
exclusively by the 1 million-plus troops who
have served, and their families. Three
thousand have made the ultimate sacrifice and
22,000 have been wounded and maimed,” Rangel
The Pentagon strongly opposes a return to
the draft, last used during the Vietnam War.
In 2004, the House of Representatives voted
against a similar Rangel bill by an
overwhelming 402-2 margin.
But Rangel says things have changed.
“I don’t see how anyone who supports the
war in Iraq would not support reinstatement of
the draft,” he said.
The 21,000 additional troops President Bush
wants to send into Iraq “will not be fresh
troops,” he said. “Many of them are already on
the ground in Iraq and will have their
deployments extended. Almost 250,000 of the
troops currently deployed in Iraq have served
more than one tour, and some have been
deployed as many as six times.
“Since the start of the war, more than
14,000 discharged Army veterans — members of
the Individual Ready Reserve — have been
called back from their jobs and families to
serve in Iraq.”
The resolution on viewing the transfer of
flag-draped coffins, aimed at overturning a
Defense Department that military officials
have said is designed to protect family
privacy, would be nonbinding. It simply asks
for, but would not require, a policy change
that would open such transfers to the public
and the press. The resolution would allow for
individual families to request and receive
privacy so that they or the coffin containing
the remains of their family member are not
seen by members of the public or media.
DODGING RANGEL'S DRAFT
By FLAGG K. YOUNGBLOOD
Rangel: Pushing a draft, but AWOL on ROTC.
February 17, 2007
REP. Charlie Rangel
long has advocated reinstating a military draft because, as he
stated in November 2006, "the growing burden on our uniformed
troops is obvious, and the unfairness and absence of shared
sacrifice in the population cannot be challenged."
comment begs two important questions:
Why should America
pursue a measure as coercive as the draft without first
seeking to cultivate voluntary military participation,
especially at schools where the Reserve Officers' Training
Corps (ROTC) does not exist or its enrollment is low?
And why not do more
to ensure students can meet with military recruiters on
Students at Yale,
Stanford, Columbia and other institutions like them rarely
meet members of the military. Administrators either refuse to
provide ROTC and military recruiters access to campus or, more
insidiously, erect huge barriers to discourage students from
considering military service. Higher education once was
helpful in breaking down barriers, not erecting them.
Almost a century
ago, a consortium of university presidents resolved to bridge
the gap between the academy and the military. Led by the
president of Lehigh, the presidents of the University of
California, Princeton, the University of Michigan, Harvard,
Virginia Military Institute, Yale and the City College of New
York joined forces with Leonard Wood, the Army's chief of
staff, to form the Advisory Committee of University and
College Presidents of the Students Society of the National
As Wood wrote in
1913, "The object sought is not in any way one of military
aggrandizement, but a means of meeting a vital need
confronting a peaceful, unmilitary, though warlike nation, to
preserve that desired peace and prosperity by the best known
precaution . . . a more thorough preparation and equipment to
resist any effort to break such a peace." The diligent work of
these leaders led to the creation of ROTC in 1916.
Could those words
ring truer today?
Where are the elite
academicians of our time, the self-professed champions of
peace and democracy?
leadership has an opportunity to act - by ensuring the Solomon
amendment is enforced as written. The amendment, passed in
1996, mandates that all federal taxpayer dollars, save those
allocated to student loan programs, be cut off from schools
that are hostile to the military. Solomon has the 8-0 sanction
of the Supreme Court. Further, the court's ruling noted that
Congress can, because of the constitutionally defined role of
the military, impose whatever mandates it deems necessary for
the military's health on institutions of higher learning.
Rangel, if you are really concerned that too few graduates
from elite schools are joining the military, give such schools
the incentive they need to aid in our common defense: Cut off
their funding as the law mandates. Market incentives have a
way of changing bad attitudes and poor leadership. Let me
offer you an illustration.
Did you know
that, according to Yale's 2005 financial statements, about
$415 million of the school's $1.7 billion operating budget
came from federal government? That's almost 25 percent of this
"private" school's budget, without even considering the
additional monies brought in by taxpayer-subsidized student
How about asking
Yale, and all other federally supported schools for that
matter, to find a way to graduate just one commissioned
military officer or enlistee for every million dollars they
receive in taxpayer funding annually?
In 2005, that
would have yielded an additional 415 members for our armed
forces from Yale alone. Adding in Harvard, which received
about $511 million in 2005, we'd have 926 new service members
from just these two schools, giving us more than enough
individuals to staff a battalion.
In our modern,
rights-obsessed culture, what happened to a student's right to
meet with a military recruiter or to participate in ROTC,
particularly on elite campuses?
to stand up for them, for the sake of our nation's defense
and, once again, encourage voluntary military service among
our best and brightest.
Youngblood, an Army veteran and Yale alumnus, follows military
issues for the Young America's Foundation (www.yaf.org).
24 Jul 2008
Charlie Rangel has been carrying on and
on for years about how the draft would be back. It
hasn’t quite happened how he predicted, but now forces
are in motion which might make his predictions a
National Service Act:
To require all persons in the United States between
the ages of 18 and 42 to perform national service,
either as a member of the uniformed services or in
civilian service in furtherance of the national
defense and homeland security, to authorize the
induction of persons in the uniformed services during
wartime to meet end-strength requirements of the
uniformed services, to amend the Internal Revenue Code
of 1986 to make permanent the favorable treatment
afforded combat pay under the earned income tax
credit, and for other purposes.
Note that this bill applies to “all
persons in the United States between the ages of 18 and
42.” No deferments for
no one, it seems. That includes the ladies.
The bill calls draftees who select
civilian service instead of military service
I do not think that word means what
you think it means.
Who introduced this dastardly draft
bill to Congress? Why, just like the two previous draft
bills, it was Charlie Rangel (D-NY). Yes, the same
Charlie Rangel. Up to his old tricks.
A Democrat is trying (for the third
time) to bring back the draft. His constituents must be
If you ask some random person on
the street which political party the politician who
introduced a “bring back the draft” bill three times
belonged to, I’ll bet 90% of respondents would get it
Obama believes women should register for draft
Also would consider opening combat positions to females
Posted: October 13, 2008
2:56 pm Eastern
© 2008 WorldNetDaily
Sen. Barack Obama may not have drafted a woman to be his running
mate, as his rival John McCain has, but he does believe that
America's young women should be eligible for the
military draft and possibly
"I think that if women
are registered for service … I think it will help to send a
message to my two daughters that they've got obligations to this
great country as well as boys do," said Obama in a debate last
Obama's comments at the July 23, 2007,
CNN/YouTube debate also suggested
that while he doesn't support a draft and doesn't "necessarily"
see women in combat roles, he does see restricting women from the
battlefront as a breach of equality.
"There was a time when
African-Americans weren't allowed to serve in combat," Obama
replied when asked if women should register for Selective Service.
"And yet, when they did, not only did they perform brilliantly,
but what also happened is they helped to change America, and they
helped to underscore that we're equal."
A recent interview of
Wendy Morigi, Obama's national security spokeswoman, further
confirmed that Obama would consider expanding the role of female
soldiers in combat.
"Women are already
serving in combat (in Iraq and
Afghanistan), and the current
policy should be updated to reflect realities on the ground,"
Morigi told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Barack Obama would
consult with military commanders to review the constraints that
Obama and McCain differ
on the issue, with the Republican candidate supporting current
female soldiers from direct ground combat with the enemy,
including service in armor, field artillery and special forces.
According to his
campaign, McCain also disagrees with Obama's position that women
should be required to register with the Selective Service.
Leaders of women's
organizations are mixed on the subject.
Nancy Duff Campbell,
co-president of the National Women's Law Center believes women
should be able to compete for any position on the battlefield.
"I hope a new president
will revisit the restrictions," she told the Post-Gazette.
Elaine Donnelly, former
Clinton's Commission on the
Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces, however, sees strategic
military reasons for restricting women from the front lines.
"There are differences
between men and women where physical strength is an issue,"
Donnelly told the Post-Gazette. "There are a lot of civilian
feminists who are making unreasonable demands on the military."
Barack Obama Inauguration,
...what Obama Will Ask Us To Do.
On January 20th, Barack Obama will stand
in front of the American People, and be sworn in as the 44th
President Of The United States. He will have the Nation's
attention. There will be a crowd in Washington larger than any
Inauguration in history. The television audience will be
unparalleled. And we will have all witnessed the continued
unraveling of the consumer economy - and perhaps the worst
holiday retail season since the Great Depression.
Simply put - he'll have our complete and
He'll have a rare opportunity to use the
Inauguration as far more than a symbolic event. It will be his
first State Of The Union message and moment where he'll have
the moral authority to set an urgent and clear direction for
Here's the speech I hope he'll deliver:
1. He could put an end to the fear
mongering "every man for himself" governance, and speak with
passion about our shared future and fortunes. He'll say -
"We're all in this together". "Yes we can" will become -
"Yes, we must." In hindsight, the past eight years will be
remembered as a time of fear and danger. While the dangers
facing us are no less real than just after 9/11, the fear
mongering and the unraveling economy have Americans on the
defensive. That defensive posture can be seen in consumer
confidence, lack of new jobs, and the overall stifling of
innovation. The Inauguration will be an essential time to turn
the tide of defeatism and every-man-for-himself protectionism.
2. Obama can, and should ask every
American to join in - and find specific things that
individuals can do to lend a hand. He's made it clear during
the election that fixing what ails us will take a team effort.
Now is the time to rally individuals and ask for personal
engagement. For those of us fortunate enough to be in the
Knowledge Industries, he'll announce a national mentoring
program that will provide a tax incentive for individuals
willing to take the unemployed under their wing and teach web,
technology, and emerging technology skills.
3. The speech doesn't have to be all
high-minded and upbeat. He can warn against dangers as well.
He could choose to sternly warn against the profiteering that
corporations are engaging in. Certainly, some companies need
to cut headcount and trim costs, but these knee jerk, across
the board, 10 and 20% cuts are swelling unemployment lines
while profitable companies bank savings are driving the
economy off a cliff. And it can, and should be, stopped.
4. He should express clearly his vision
of a economic rebound driven by innovation, entrepreneurship,
and small business. He should announce a micro-loan program
for new business - an SBA for new digital innovation. Ideally
- this should be anchor of his 'New Deal". Just as FDR used
his Inauguration to introduce the New Deal programs that would
be quickly and forcefully put in place in the first 100 days
of his administration - Obama has a similar mandate and
perhaps unparalleled urgency. But funding roads and bridges
and public works program can't have the same economic impact
that it did back in 1932. To invest in the 'infrastructure'
he'll have to look to energy, the internet, and innovation.
And I think he will.
5. Finally, the elephant in the room will
be Iraq. The costs of the so-called war in Iraq are sapping
the resources that could be put into critical economic
drivers, and while the economy has moved to the forefront in
the minds of many Americans, Obama's steadfast and consistent
opposition to the war will be on the minds of many American's
when he is sworn in. Tying Iraq to the Economy, and making
clear and immediate steps to reduce the free reign that
military contractors have had over the past six years.
Obama is an extraordinary orator. So it's
reasonable to expect that he'll deliver a passionate,
inspirational, expansive speech. But much like FDR, he's got
little time to offer vision without a blueprint. He'll need to
lay out a vision for shared sacrifice, collective effort,
entrepreneurial innovation, energy conservation, and a path to
regain our place of leadership in the world.
January 20th is a day that has already
been circled in the history books. It is the beginning of the
Obama Administration. It is the moment when he will set his
course, and as the leader of this majestic and troubled
democracy - he'll have to use his hundred days with surgical
precision and unparalleled vision. There's lots of reasons to
expect no less. He ran his campaign with discipline and focus.
He has run the transition similarly. And he seems willing to
reach out across both party lines and to former political
rivals to get the best and the brightest into positions where
they can act swiftly. Perhaps most importantly, he ran a
campaign with virtually no internal strife or power-struggles.
If he can run his White House with the same equilibrium, he
may have a chance to re-set the economy, and ignite the
passion of innovation that has been the hallmark of the US
100 days is a short time to fix what is
broken. But he doesn't have much more than that.
Demanding big changes, offering big
dreams, and painting a picture of an America that we all still
imagine - the Inauguration could be the speech of his
political career. And, as FDR said - "A Call to Arms" for
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