Military Drafts and What’s Happening Today

Everyone at some point has counted down the days, months, or years until they are legally an adult. “Five more months until I can get a tattoo on my own!” Adulthood is something kids tend to rush. Especially in America, turning 18 can be a huge turning point in your life and a big step towards responsibilities that only adults have to face. When you’re 18 you can buy a lottery ticket, get a ten-year passport, or consent to your own medical care, but you have to register for the selective service.

Almost all men ages 18-25 who are U.S. citizens or are immigrants living in the U.S. are required to register within 30 days of turning 18, and any immigrants in the 18-25 age range must register within 30 days of arriving in the U.S. If these rules are not abided by you may face a fine of up to $250,000 and jail time of up to five years. Enlisting is not a choice. Over 1.8 million men were selected for the Vietnam War in 1973, although we have not had to use the draft in the U.S. since then, it is now becoming a widely discussed subject due to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. The conflict all started when the Soviet Union decided to split in the early 90s. The prospect of Ukraine joining NATO, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, has set off Putin. After many discussions, Russia may feel as though it has exhausted all of its political and diplomatic tools to bring Ukraine back into alliance. Ukrainian citizens are now being told to flee as the threat of safety increases except for men ages 18-60 who are being asked to stay and fight. Many young adult men such as Nick Plezia feel that it is “very unfortunate and frustrating, especially for people within Ukraine and Russia”. Although you can see why these actions are necessary, many men now in the eligible age group can see the draft as a reality through other countries.

The Selective Service System currently is on “standby” meaning there will only be a draft if Congress sees that it is necessary. Joining the selective service is one of the most challenging commitments of all time. You have to consider your mental health, physical wellbeing, family, friends, locations, and many more aspects of life where hardship may occur. But when registering yourself you get the chance to make arrangements and come to a decision that the military is what life has in store for you. Being drafted is like being stripped from your family and all you know without a choice. Fighting for your country can be an honor and is a sacrifice many selfless men make every day. Although, the draft doesn’t care if you’re selfless; if you are of the right gender and age, that sacrifice might be yours.

American flag hanging in Pennridge high school (Kieran Banks)