Turning 18 is a huge milestone for teenagers because it is when they officially receive the right to vote, which officially counts them as an adult citizen. However, being considered an adult also has some scary downsides; for young men, one of those downsides is that within thirty days of their eighteenth birthday, they are required by law to register for the Selective Service Act. Failure to do so could result in ineligibility for government benefits like federal student loans, grant programs, government jobs and federal job training.
Many men shrug at this requirement and register without another thought about it.“I’ve always considered the Selective Service Act to be more of a census than anything else,” Social Studies teacher, Jim Flanigan said, “I think it’s just a measure the government takes to see how many people we would have out our disposal if a draft was actually needed.” Others, however hold a fearful question in their minds: “What if my number does get called in a draft lottery?” It is a reasonable fear since the comprehension of being forced to bear arms against America’s enemies and possibly give your life is bloodcurdling enough.
It is no secret that America possesses some harsh relations with countries like China, North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Russia, so a fear of a third world war is logical. To determine the exact chances of the United States instituting a draft for a third world war, two social studies teachers at Mountain Vista and two of MV Media’s political reporters estimated what they thought the chances of the United States entering a third world war in the next five-to-ten years were on a scale of zero-to-one-hundred percent:
|Jim Flanigan||Below 10%|
As you can see, the highest prediction was below 50%. “I said 46% because of the current state of conflict in the world today,” MV Media political reporter, Keyahn Golgoon said. “New alliances are being formed, old alliances are breaking and tension is continuing to rise in the Middle East.” Golgoon’s point about rising tensions in the Middle East due to terrorism is an excellent representation of 21st century threats.
“A war against sovereign states is not going to happen because that’s just not the way 21st century problems are carried out,” Social Studies teacher, John Hettich said. “It’s the non-sovereign states and terrorist organizations like ISIS that are posing more of a threat than sovereign states are. With the technological advances in our military like drones and our large volunteer army, I’d say it’s almost unnecessary to even have a US Selective Service Act.”
According to worldatlas.com, the United States of America has the second largest military in the world with 1,492, 200 active soldiers. This statistic provides an estimate of the amount of troops America would have at its disposal if a third world war were to occur and it proves that the Selective Service Act is no longer necessary in today’s environment.
“I don’t see a draft happening any time soon,” Flanigan said. “The amount of volunteers that we already have in our military would prevent a draft from ever taking place because we have enough soldiers to fight a third world war.”
Although signing up for the US Selective Service Act may seem a little scary, keep in mind that the actual chances of the United States instituting a draft are incredibly miniscule due to the technology and the immense volunteer army this country possesses.
If you have turned eighteen (and are not disabled, injured or an ideological objector), please go to www.sss.gov/Home/Registration and fill out the registration form within thirty days of your eighteenth birthday. The consequences of failing to do so are far more severe and immediate than the fear of a draft occurring is.