What You Need to Know About Registering With Selective Service
Q: What is Selective Service?
A: The Selective Service is a government agency whose job is to provide untrained manpower for the Armed Forces if there’s a national emergency.
Q: What is Selective Service Registration?
A: By registering, you add your name to a list of all the men in the nation, ages 18 through 25. The list would be used to identify men for possible military service in case of a national emergency.
Q: What happens if there’s a draft?
A: There hasn’t been a draft since 1973. If there were an emergency sufficient for
congress to order another draft, Selective Service would conduct a birthdate lottery to decide the order in which to call men. Those who turn 20 during that calendar year would be called first in a sequence determined by the lottery. If more men were needed, those 21 to 25 would be called, youngest first.
Q: Who is required to register?
A: The law says that all 18-year-old men (including U.S. citizens living abroad and non-citizen immigrant males 18-25 residing in the U.S.) must register. The only young men exempt from registration are non-citizen males who are in the U.S. temporarily as tourists, diplomats and their family members or foreign exchange students; incarcerated or institutionalized men; men on active duty in the Armed Forces; and students at U.S. military academies.
Q: Why don’t women have to register?
A: Our nation only registers men. This has always been the case. Selective Service law as it is presently written refers specifically to “male persons” in stating who must register and who could be subject to a draft. Therefore, Selective Service procedures do not apply to women. In order for women to be required to register with Selective Service, Congress would have to change the wording of the law.
Q: What if I don’t register?
A: You are breaking the law. If prosecuted, you could be sent to prison for up to 5
years and may be fined up to $250, 000. In addition, if you fail to register, you
cannot qualify for federal student grants or loans for college, job training benefits
and many state and federal jobs.
Q: Is registration hard?
A: No. In fact it’s never been easier. A young man can register with Selective
Service in less than 2 minutes via the Internet at www.sss.gov. You can also register by going to your local post office and completing a registration form. It’s as simple as filling in your name, address, telephone number, date of birth and Social Security number. Registration forms should be available in your local recreation or social service center, school’s guidance or registrar office, or you may receive a form in the mail. Simply complete it and mail the form to Selective Service.
Q: When should I register?
A: Within 30 days of your 18th birthday. If you cannot register on time because you are hospitalized or in prison, you have 30 days in which to register after you are released. If 30 days have already passed since your 18th birthday, register immediately, either online or at your post office. Although Selective Service will accept a late registration, the longer you wait, the longer you are breaking the law and jeopardizing your future benefits.
Q: How do I prove I registered?
A: When registering via the Internet, you will receive your Selective Service number immediately. That number is your proof of registration – for safe keeping, jot it down. You will receive a Selective Service card by mail within 2 weeks confirming that number. (Note: If you registered by mail, you will receive a card confirming your registration with 60-90 days.) If you don’t get your card within 90 days, write to:
Selective Service System
Registration Information Office
P.O. Box 94638
Palatine, IL 60094-4638
Or call 1-847-688-6888
Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC)
A program which provides college-trained officers for the regular Army or Army Reserve. Four-year scholarships pay tuition, lab fees, on campus educational fees and $100 per month subsistence allowance. Minimum requirements include SAT 850 or ACT 19. Many other characteristics are considered.
Deadline for application is December 1 of senior year. Take ACT or SAT on a national test date no later than December. Begin application spring of junior year. Need ACT or SAT tests early second semester of junior year.
These pay up to four years tuition, costs of textbooks, fees and a subsistence allowance of $100 per month. The selection process is very competitive. Obtain information from the CCRL or call the Navy Recruiting Command at (918) 438-0380.
Deadline date is December 1 of senior year. Take the ACT or SAT before November 18 and preferably during spring of junior year. Minimum scores are ACT English – 22; Math – 22; SAT English – 450; Math – 500. To be competitive, it is best to have 3.8 GPA with combined English and math on ACT of 50+ or a combined SAT of 1150+.
Air Force ROTC
These pay up to four years tuition, costs of textbooks, fees and a subsistence allowance of $100 per month. Deadline is December 1 of senior year. Selection is based on scores on SAT or ACT, high school academic records, recommendation from a high school official, extra-curricular activities, personal interview, medical exam, and acceptance into a college or university offering Air Force ROTC. Minimum requirements are to be in top 25% of class, ACT of 24, and SAT of 1000. Begin application in spring of junior year.
Note: Students who enroll in an ROTC class on their own in college are eligible to apply for ROTC scholarships for the following years in college.
Military Educational Funding Programs
All branches of the military provide an educational funding program that can be used after or during military service to pay for college or special training. Contact recruiters from each branch to obtain the latest information:
Military Service Academies
Because of extremely keen competition for nomination for an academy, students are urged to apply to every nominating authority which eligibility allows (i.e. student’s two senators, congressman, President, Vice-President, children of deceased or disabled veterans, etc.). Students selected for an academy receive four years college expenses including tuition, room, board, fees, and a monthly salary, part of which must be used for some expenses. After graduation from aan academy, a student is obligated to serve on active military duty for five years.To begin the application process, send for Pre-Candidate Questionnaire from the appropriate academy.
To learn more, contact the following academies:
Director of Admissions
United States Military Academy
West Point, NY 10996-1797
Telephone: (914) 938-4041
Director of Candidate Guidance
United States Naval Academy
Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5018
Telephone: (800) 638-9156
Director of Admissions
United States Air Force Academy
Colorado Springs, Colo. 80840-5000
Telephone: (303) 472-2520
United States Merchant Marine Academy
Kings Point, NY 11024
Telephone: (800) 732-6267
Director of Admissions
United States Coast Guard Academy
New London, Connecticut 06320-4195