The U.S. Military Is Registering 15-Year-Olds for the Draft, by David Swanson

Repeal the U.S. Military Selective Service Act

Screenshot by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

by David Swanson
Writers, Dandelion Salad
Let’s Try Democracy
December 19, 2021

Most U.S. states still have excuses when asked to make voter registration automatic, but in various states — including here in Virginia — draft registration is automatic even for 15-year-olds who want a learner’s permit to drive a car. (This is still only for males, as Congress did not, in the end, extend draft registration to females, at least until next year — once in a while Democrats’ obeisance to Republicans works out well.) The application for the learner’s permit in Virginia, for which you must be 15-and-a-half-years-old, says:

“Generally males under age 26 must register with the Selective Service. If you are required by federal law to register with the Selective Service, you must authorize DMV to forward your personal information to the Selective Service unless you have already registered. If you are under age 18, your parent or guardian must sign your application authorizing the Selective Service to register you when you turn age 18. Law prohibits DMV from issuing any type of driver’s license or ID card to an applicant who is required by federal law to register with the Selective Service but who refuses to authorize DMV to send his information to the Selective Service. If you have questions about Selective Service registration, visit the Selective Service website at www.sss.gov or call 847-688-6888 (TTY: 847-688-2567).”

So, you’re registered to be registered, because you are required by federal law to be registered, except that you are not so required, because you are not 18 years old, so you’re not really registered, you’re just, you know, registered. At 15 YEARS OLD. To kill people. For the profits of weapons companies and whatever else you believe it’s for — killing people.

So, what can a 15-year-old do who wants to drive a car but not sign up for the unselective nonservice?

Some advise this approach: Don’t register online! Instead, go to the DMV or post office and properly complete two Selective Service registration forms. Write, “I am conscientiously opposed to war” clearly on the front of both forms. Address envelopes to the Selective Service System and to yourself. Both will be postmarked on the same date. The Selective Service won’t pay attention to what you’ve written and you’ll be registered. When you receive the envelope through the mail, don’t open it. Instead keep it with your important things. If there’s a draft that you are unable to ignore or avoid, you will need to claim an opportunity to plead your case in front of your local draft board. Bring the sealed envelope; photograph it and then open it in front of them. Explain that your opposition to war didn’t suddenly materialize when the draft was reinstituted.

What can the rest of us do? Tell the U.S. Congress to repeal the so-called Selective Service.


David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include Leaving World War II Behind (2020), Curing Exceptionalism: What’s wrong with how we think about the United States? What can we do about it? (2018) and War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. Support David’s work.


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Repeal the U.S. Military Selective Service Act

From the archives:

They’re About to Add Women to Military Draft in the Name of Feminism, by David Swanson

Rivera Sun: Is It Unfair To Young Women Not To Force Them To Kill and Die For Weapons Profits? interviewed by David Swanson

Ditch The Draft, Once and For All, by Rivera Sun

HR 6415: The Dumbest Idea in Congress + Now Do You See How Evil They Are? by David Swanson

The Sleeping Giantess: My Statement Opposing the Expansion of the Military Draft by Rivera Sun

Testimony for the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service + Draft Registration Will Be Either Ended or Imposed on Women by David Swanson

Women’s Draft? Sign Me Up To Abolish War by Rivera Sun + Feds Extend Deadline for Public Comments on Future Draft

Don’t Enlist, But Don’t Just Take My Word For It by Lo (repost)

Army Makes Case Against Enlisting by David Swanson

Don’t Enlist, But Don’t Just Take My Word For It by Lo

One thought on “The U.S. Military Is Registering 15-Year-Olds for the Draft, by David Swanson

  1. Pingback: David Swanson and Charles Lenchner: Refusing Military “Service” – Dandelion Salad

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