Re: Selective Services Act
Date: June 04, 2007 09:20PM
If you plan on going to college, register.
From the SSS.gov website
Washington, D.C. (May 17, 2000) – The Selective Service System today released its first-ever state-by-state analysis of registration compliance data, and announced a series of partnership efforts with the U.S. Department of Education and key education organizations to bolster on-time registration. On average, the rankings show that nearly one out of five young men in the United States turning age 20 this year will fail to register, putting themselves at risk of losing out on important Federal opportunities linked to registration.
New Hampshire ranked highest among the states with 95 percent of eligible men registered by the time they turn 20, while Hawaii was the lowest with 73 percent of young men born in 1980 registering before or during 1999. (A listing of compliance rates for each state is attached)
Federal law requires that virtually all young men living in the U.S. register with Selective Service within 30 days of their 18th birthday. Late registrations are accepted through age 25, and many men register late. The names are gathered by the civilian-controlled agency in the event of a national crisis that would require a military draft. A prime concern of the agency is ensuring that any such call-up would be "fair and equitable." Over the past three decades, many reforms have been instituted to ensure fairness, and nationwide some 11,000 volunteers in virtually every community in America have been trained in the procedures necessary to conduct a fair process. In addition, "equity" requires the highest compliance rate possible.
To reinforce the requirement, Congress has made Selective Service registration a requirement for obtaining a number of federal benefits, including student loans, job training, government jobs, and citizenship for male immigrants. Under Federal law, young men who do not register by the time they are 26 may never receive these benefits. Additionally, although rarely prosecuted, failure to register is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Many states and localities also link additional opportunities – such as student financial aid and state or municipal employment – to Selective Service registration.
"The American people, through their elected representatives, have made it clear that they believe Selective Service plays a vital role in ensuring that our country is prepared for a national emergency," said Selective Service Director Gil Coronado. "Therefore, many benefits – benefits that are important to every man’s future – have been linked to Selective Service registration. Our goal as an agency is to both ensure that we have registered every eligible man, and to ensure that we have done all we can to inform young men of the opportunities they are forgoing if they fail to register."
Coronado said that it is in this spirit the agency is reaching out to the U.S. education community to help raise awareness of the registration requirement and to support the agency’s new initiative, Selective Service Week – a series of school- and community-based awareness activities to be launched in the fall.
"Our research has consistently shown that the biggest barrier to young men’s compliance is a simple lack of awareness," Coronado said. "It is tragic to see young men potentially missing out on future opportunities because they just do not know that they are required to register. But even more tragic is that our experience shows the young men most likely to miss the message are those from poor and underrepresented populations – the very men who stand the most to gain from these opportunities."
The agency is forbidden by Federal law to purchase advertising, and so relies on a number of strategies to build awareness, including public service announcements, direct mail and direct outreach. "On the whole, we’re very proud of our record considering the enormous challenge we face of reaching the more than 5,000 young men in this country who turn 18 every day," Coronado said. "However, we are fully committed to doing more."
In announcing his agency’s support for the outreach effort, U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley commented, "Throughout the history of our nation, our schoolhouses have been more than just places where children learn their ‘Three Rs.’ They are places where young people learn both their rights and their responsibilities as citizens of a free society."
In addition to Riley, expressing support for school based outreach efforts were Mickey Ibarra, White House Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, and education associations and organizations, including representatives from the American School Counselor Association, the Center for Civic Education, the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the National Association of State Boards of Education.
"The partners that we have gathered here today represent the beginning of what we intend to be a growing outreach effort over the next several years," Coronado said, "and the numbers we have released will serve as a baseline to measure our effectiveness. With the support of these partners, with our plans to increase our outreach into other communities, and with continuing efforts on the state, local and national levels, we will ensure that all young men are aware of their responsibilities and benefit from all of the opportunities due them."