Currently there is a flurry of newspaper articles about Selective Service planning to conduct an exercise of its field structure in 2009. However, the public should not be alarmed. No draft for the military is about to be reinstated. Rather, Selective Service is planning to test its policies, plans and procedures as it has done routinely over the years if resources are available. Given the decline in agency funding, this exercise may be postponed again as it has been in the past. As always, Selective Service continues to do its job of being ready to conduct a draft and to manage a program for civilian alternative service for men classified as conscientious objectors when directed by the Nation’s elected officials: the president and Congress.
Before the lottery was implemented in the latter part of the Vietnam conflict, Local Boards called men classified 1-A, 18 1/2 through 25 years old, oldest first. This resulted in uncertainty for the potential draftees during the entire time they were within the draft-eligible age group. A draft held today would use a lottery system under which a man would spend only one year in first priority for the draft - either the calendar year he turned 20 or the year his deferment ended. Each year after that, he would be placed in a succeedingly lower priority group and his liability for the draft would lessen accordingly. In this way, he would be spared the uncertainty of waiting until his 26th birthday to be certain he would not be drafted.
For more information go to : http://www.sss.gov