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Selective Service System

Discussion in 'Other Governmental Matters' started by Natey, Feb 1, 2013.

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  1. Natey

    Natey Law Topic Starter New Member

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    "If you are a man ages 18 through 25 and living in the U.S., then you must register with Selective Service. It’s the law." - www.sss.gov

    Most people in that age group I know either don't know what the SSS is, or do not register at all. One even told me that it's optional because of the word "Selective", i.e. that he could "select" not to register :^) And he was a college graduate of a well-respected University too.
    So what's the SSS doing to enforce the law, if anything at all?
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    The Selective Service does little to enforce the law.

    The one major exception is for college students (or certain trade schools) that require students to PROVE they have complied with the law in order to secure financial aid.

    Some government agencies require proof of SS registration in order to apply for jobs; as well as certain professional licensing and certifications.

    I haven't heard of any prosecutions for not complying in many, many years.
     
  3. Betty3

    Betty3 Super Moderator

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    In 1980, men who knew they were required to register and did not do so could face up to five years in jail or a fine up to $50,000 if convicted. The potential fine was later increased to $250,000. Despite these possible penalties, government records indicate that from 1980 through 1986 there were only 20 indictments, of which 19 were instigated in part by self-publicized and self-reported non-registration. As one of the elements of the offense, the government must prove that a violation of the Military Selective Service Act was knowing and willful. This is almost impossible unless the prospective defendant has publicly stated that he knew he was required to register or report for induction, or unless he has been visited by the FBI, personally served with notice to register or report for induction, and given another chance to comply. The last prosecution for non-registration was in January 1986, after which many believed the government declined to continue enforcing that law when it became apparent that the trials were themselves causing a decline in registration. Routine checks requiring identification virtually never include a request for draft card.

    As an alternative method of encouraging registration, federal legislators passed laws requiring that to receive financial aid, federal grants and loans, certain government benefits, eligibility for most federal employment, and (if the person is an immigrant) eligibility for citizenship, a young man had to be registered (or had to have been registered, if they are over 26 but were required to register between 18 and 26) with Selective Service. Those who were required to register, but failed to do so before they turn 26, are no longer allowed to register, and thus may be permanently barred from federal jobs and other benefits, unless they can show to the Selective Service that their failure was not knowing and willful. There is a procedure to provide an "information letter" by the SSS for those in these situations, for example recent citizens who entered the US after their 26th birthday

    Ref. SSS 1-2013
     

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