Selective Service System and Draft Registration: Issues for Congress [Updated August 18, 2021]   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Overview: "The United States has not used conscription to fill manpower requirements for over four decades; however, the Selective Service System and the requirement for young men to register for the draft remain today. Men who fail to register are subject to penalties in the form of lost benefits and criminal action. Some have questioned the need to maintain this agency and the registration requirements. Others have questioned whether the current requirements for registration are fair and equitable. This report provides Congress with information about how the Military Selective Service Act (MSSA), the Selective Service System (SSS), and associated requirements for registration have evolved over time. It explains why the United States developed the SSS, what the system looks like today, how constituents are affected by the MSSA requirements, and what the options and considerations may be for the future of the Selective Service. The first section of the report provides background and history on the Military Selective Service Act, the Selective Service System, and the implementation of the draft in the United States. The second section discusses statutory registration requirements, processes for registering, and penalties for failing to register. The third section discusses the current organization, roles, and resourcing of the Selective Service System. The final section discusses policy options and consideration for Congress for the future of the MSSA and the Selective Service System."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R44452
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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