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How the Draft has changed since the Vietnam War - Research Paper Example

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Summary
Passed in June of 1917, the Conscription Act required conscripts to be court-martialed if they did not bear arms, wear uniforms, submit to military authority, or perform basic military duties . Those who were convicted of objecting were normally given substantial sentences of at least twenty years, usually served at Fort Leavenworth. …
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How the Draft has changed since the Vietnam War
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How the Draft has changed since the Vietnam War

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Men found to have been insincere by the board for military tribunals tried various offenses with seventeen sentenced to death, three hundred and forty five to penal labor camps, and one hundred and forty two to life imprisonment. In the United States, conscription, or the draft, has been used a number of time, normally in the event of war, as well as when there is nominal peace, such as during the Cold War. The draft was discontinued in 1973 by the US government, which shifted to a military force that was all-volunteer. For this reason, mandatory draft is not in effect at the present time. The Selective Service System (SSS), however, is still in place for contingency purposes. Men aged between eighteen and twenty-five must register for quick resumption of the draft should there be a need for conscription2. However, most military and political experts do not consider conscription likely under the current conditions. The Military Draft While the United States did not initially join the Second World War, the Selective Training and Service Act (STSA) was signed by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1940. This required all American men aged, between twenty-six and thirty-five, to register for drafting into the military3. This acted as the United States’ first draft during peacetime, and it was responsible for the establishment of an independent federal agency, the SSS. Because of increasing threats from Japan and parts of Europe, President Roosevelt decided that it was prudent for the United States to train military personnel in case they had to defend the motherland. Germany had already invaded France and Poland, and it was becoming clear that Hitler was involved in persecution of European Jews, and Great Britain was his next target. In response to the distress that Great Britain was in, Roosevelt decided to sell more weapons to repel an attack by the Nazis, as well as to increase the humanitarian effort for the increasingly isolated British. On appending his signature to the STSA, he warned the American citizenry that America was caught in the middle of a war for her destiny with the distance and time that separated the US and Europe becoming smaller4. In his opinion, which was shared by a majority of Americans, it was not possible to remain neutral in a world of increased and rampant force. It was now up to the Americans to be prepared in the event that the war in Europe and the Asia-Pacific got to their shores The Americans were receptive of the draft after that impassioned appeal from President Roosevelt. Whatever resistance there may have been to the draft dissipated with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 19415. This event led to massive enlisting by American men and enlisting continued until 1973, both in peacetime and when the United States was involved in conflict, such as during the Korean War. Men were also drafted in order to fill the vacancies left by retiring or killed service men, which could not be filled using voluntary conscription. In December of 1969, the United States military reinstated the lottery drawing, unused since 1942, in Washington D.C.’s Selective Service National Headquarters. This was meant to determine how men born between 1944 and 1950 would be inducted into the army. This lottery was a change from the earlier method where 366 plastic capsules with birth dates, representing the days of the year, were put in a large jar, after which they were drawn manually to assign all men born between the said years with ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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