As Recruiting Crisis Continues, Selective Service Agency Calls for Volunteers

As Recruiting Crisis Continues, Selective Service Agency Calls for Volunteers
Recruits from the San Antonio area take the oath of enlistment during a February 2022 ceremony at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Shayla D. Hamilton/Navy)

MOAA members, their spouses, and others looking for a volunteer opportunity in the new year can support the Selective Service Agency, which is seeking board members across the country.


Volunteers staff the agency’s boards at the local, district, and regional level; in the event of a draft, local boards would consider deferment, postponement, and exemption cases, with appeals moving to the district and national levels. Note: Career retired military personnel are not permitted to serve on these boards, nor are those currently in uniformed service or those working in law enforcement.


[LEARN MORE: Selective Service System Volunteers]


If you’re ineligible for board work, consider serving as a state resource volunteer, supporting the agency by recruiting local board members, communicating with local schools and post offices regarding selective service application materials, and taking part in other education efforts. These positions are open to all U.S. citizens over 18 with the sole requirement that any male volunteers be registered with the selective service.


Today’s Headlines and the Selective Service

The all-volunteer force is approaching its 50th anniversary while DoD is facing a recruiting crisis that highlights the importance of maintaining the selective service.


[RELATED: Facing a ‘Perfect Storm’: The Military Recruiting Crisis]


The anniversary is a catalyst for many to revisit the notion of national service. It also reminds many of horrible experiences with the draft during the Vietnam War, and why we must protect the all-volunteer force. A 2020 report from National Commission on Public Service detailed several recommendations to increase outreach to youth to encourage service – recommendations yet to be implemented. Increased investment in JROTC programs and improved outreach now has the attention of Congress.


MOAA has successfully advocated to protect military medical manning levels, but circumstances may arise that would require additional medical resources. In 1987, Congress approved the Health Care Personnel Delivery System (HCPDS) to draft health care professionals in the event of an emergency. The so-called “Doctor Draft” would require approval by Congress and the president, and is essentially a plan on the books to select doctors, nurses, medical technicians, and other health care specialties in the event a future emergency exceeded uniformed medical personnel capabilities. Learn more about the process at this Selective Service System link.


Unlike the standard selective service mandate to only draft men, this plan Includes women medical professionals unless directed otherwise by Congress and the president.


[RELATED AT SSS.GOV: Why Aren't Women Required to Register?]


For more on the selective service, visit this list of answers to frequently asked questions. Follow MOAA’s legislative efforts to protect the all-volunteer force at MOAA's Advocacy News page.


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About the Author

Lt. Col. Mark Belinsky, USA (Ret)
Lt. Col. Mark Belinsky, USA (Ret)

Belinsky retired in 2019 after serving 22 years, with overseas tours to Afghanistan, Iraq, the Republic of Korea, and Germany. He joined the MOAA team in 2019 as Director, Currently Serving and Retired Affairs.