Friday, July 11, 2014

The Draft

Selective Service is the draft agency, compelled by law to acquire rolls of men who are available for military service.  Those of us born in the '50s are painfully aware of the draft, having lived with the threat of the draft hanging over our heads during the Vietnam War.  Many of us signed up during that period, and others waited for the draft, while yet others avoided the draft at all costs,   President Nixon ended the draft in 1973, but men of draft age are still required to register with the Selective Service in case the nation needs them.  The Selective Service rolls along, collecting names, registering and classifying men who are eligible for military service.  If you don't voluntarily register, you can be held liable under various US statutes.  It's part of being a citizen.

Occasionally, the Selective Service sends out notices, which it did recently, to 14,000 Pennsylvania men, born between '93 and '97.  But they got the wrong century.  Yeah, these guys were born between 1893 and 1897,
The glitch, it turns out, originated with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation during a transfer of nearly 400,000 records to the Selective Service. A clerk working with the state's database failed to select the century, producing records for males born between 1993 and 1997 - and for those born a century earlier, PennDOT spokeswoman Jan McKnight said Thursday… The Selective Service didn't initially catch it because the state used a two-digit code to indicate year of birth, spokesman Pat Schuback said. The federal agency identified 27,218 records of men born in the 1800s, began mailing notices to them on June 30, and began receiving calls from family members on July 3. By that time, it had sent 14,250 notices in error.
They started getting calls from people, saying "Grandpa died several years ago, I don't think that he's going to be able to register."

The youngest of these men would be 117.  I don't think many of then will pass the PT Test.

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