Well, it's official. I've been appointed to the local Draft Board.

Gene Kelly also joined the Navy during World War 2, and Elvis Presley did a stint in the Army.

John Engler. And apparently he’s still putting on weight to avoid the risk of being drafted (Pic, he’s on the left)


At the risk of turning this into an “ask the draft board member…” thread:

If I were american, which, if any, of the following conditions would get me tossed out:

-Was about 25 lb overweight but otherwise in ok health

-Was an insulin dependant diabetic, but well controlled, and athletically & academically gifted.

-Was a medication dependant asthmatic, well controlled, but only able to run 1 mile or so (good academics)

-Had flat feet but otherwise athletically & academically gifted

-Had sever nearsightedness but corrected with coke-bottle glasses to 20/20 and otherwise athletically & academically gifted

-Was an epileptic under medication, but with no siezures in the past 5 years, and otherwise a good athlete and scholar.
I figure any of the above conditions would preclude a candiate from joining the Marines, but in this age of RPVs and beyond-visual-range, a person with any of the above could still be a radar/sonar operator, clerk, linguist/analyst, technician, programmer, air-tanker operator, weather forecaster, telecom tech, etc. etc.

So what’s the scoop? Can folks who can’t do forced marches or hump a pack & rifle 25 miles still serve?


I believe all the medical conditions you listed would disqualify one from military service. I’m not 100% sure, especially about the flat feet, weight, and nearsightedness. The diabetes, epilepsy, and asthma are almost certain because one can’t be guaranteed access to medication in conditions such as combat or training for combat, and any of those three conditions can easily render a person functionally useless if one doesn’t have access to the medication.


If I may ask, how old are your twins?

Jeez trupa, I think you need to go see a doctor.

Selective service board members don’t evaluate recruits or draftees for medical fitness. That’s not our job. That part is handled by the Military MEPS station.

This sequence of events in a draft might explain things.

My twins are now twenty months old, BTW.

Lucky for me I’m old enough not to qualify and have no vhildren to worry about.

Mr. Moto, is what you are undergoing a routine peacetime event, or are you part of some new general “mobilization” of the Selective Service System?

IIRC Donald Runsfeld testified just a few weeks ago that he “couldn’t imagine” re-instituting the draft.

Selective Service local boards have been in place for a long long time. What is perceived as a mobilization is really just filling in vacancies that should have been filled a long time ago.

Keep in mind that the draft cannot be reinstituted without congressional say-so.

Thank you for that clarification.

Do you know whether your position was vacant because of a lack of volunteers to fill it, or are you replacing someone at the en of their term of service? Are there a large number of similar positions unfilled due to lack of volunteers?

There are no terms. People volunteer for as long as they feel they are able, or until they move, or until they die.

It’s not a stringent job. There’s a weekend of initial training, and annual refresher training. Apart from that, you’re on your own, unless the shooting starts.

My understanding is that there are a large number of vacancies, due to the past several administrations not considering filling them a priority. I think people were unaware the boards existed anymore at all.