Coffman: Time to End Military Draft Registration
(WASHINGTON) – United States Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO) today announced his proposal to abolish the United States Selective Service System and end the requirement for young men to register for the draft. Current law stipulates that all male U.S. citizens and legal residents are required to register with the Selective Service System within 30 days of their 18th birthday.
“The time has come to end the registration requirement and dismantle the Selective Service System,” Coffman said. “It’s an outdated program that has cost us well over $700 million in the last 31 years and it is time for it to go.”
Coffman is a combat veteran who served in both the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps. He began his military career in 1972 in the Army during the waning days of America’s involvement in Vietnam, when the majority of recruits were either drafted or volunteered in anticipation of being drafted. The draft ended in 1973 and the Selective Service System was disbanded in 1975 which ended the requirement for young men to register.
“Every year since the draft ended in 1973 the Army has improved the quality of its personnel, training, and professionalism,” Coffman said. “I saw firsthand how ineffective the draft Army of the early 1970s was compared to the highly professional, all volunteer military of today.”
The Selective Service System and the requirement for young men to register for the draft were reinstituted by President Jimmy Carter in 1980 to demonstrate U.S. resolve against the Soviet Union‘s invasion of Afghanistan in late 1979. Since then the draft has never been considered by our military as a viable option despite personnel shortages caused by the pressures from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And while many draft-age males have failed to meet registration requirements, no one has been prosecuted for the failure to comply with this law since 1986.
“Without negatively affecting our national security in the least, my legislation will save the taxpayers over $24 million per year, free up military personnel currently working in the Selective Service System, and remove an obviously moribund and outdated program that was never meant to be more than a symbolic gesture to the Soviet Union 31 years ago,” Coffman said.
Coffman’s bill, House Resolution 621, would allow the President, based on a national security emergency, to reinstitute the Selective Service System by executive order if the commander-in-chief felt it was necessary.
# # #