Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Selective Service and American Society

Selective Service and American Society

edited by ROGER W. LITTLE
Copyright Date: 1969
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
Pages: 240
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Selective Service and American Society
    Book Description:

    A penetrating analysis of the Selective Service System: its recruiting services, the makeup and attitude of those who serve on local draft boards, the criteria for deferment or rejection from service, and the application of the principle of universality in the present draft laws. Using data from several sources, the study also explores the position of blacks with respect to military service. Comprehensive recommendations are set forth.

    eISBN: 978-1-61044-664-8
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Contributors
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. xi-xviii)

    An institution as vital to a democratic society as one charged with the procurement of military manpower can ill afford to ignore the continuous barrage of criticism directed at Selective Service. Such criticism, even though at times poorly informed, threatens to undermine the legitimacy of the institution unless it is carefully examined and its relevance determined. The debate about Selective Service that became intensified in 1965 has served to remind us of how little is known about the operation of the system and its effects on the larger society. The public concern for Selective Service in the past is perhaps...

  6. Procurement of manpower: an institutional analysis
    (pp. 1-34)

    Military manpower in the United States is procured by a dual system of voluntary recruitment and the operations of the Selective Service System. Any effort to understand how these systems actually operate and to formulate recommendations for change must take into consideration not only official policies but also the reality of the institutions that execute these policies. Selective Service, in short, cannot be understood without regard to the full range of other agencies involved in obtaining military manpower.

    Institutions, policies, and organizational formats are usually products of a process of growth and accretion and are frequently found to be obsolete...

  7. Historical background of Selective Service in the United States
    (pp. 35-52)

    This chapter presents a brief and concise summary of the emergence of conscription as a solution to the recurrent problem of military manpower procurement during critical periods in national defense. Special emphasis is placed on developments of current relevance such as student deferments and the Reserve components.

    The first modern conscription law was adopted by France during the French Revolution. During the nineteenth century most major European nations adopted the practice of conscription in connection with various conflicts. The rationale was that the number of men under arms and the ability to produce an inexpensive musket as a weapon would...

  8. A social profile of local draft board members: the case of Wisconsin
    (pp. 53-82)

    Despite the significance of the Selective Service System in American society, it has been the subject of virtually no systematic research.¹ Even answers to such apparently routine questions as who serves on the local board, how they are appointed and by whom, how long they serve, and how they relate to their communities are difficult or impossible to find. This paper attempts to provide partial answers to these questions. In addition we will try to sketch some of the links between Selective Service and the society and economy in which it operates. The data on which the paper rests include...

  9. Decision-making in local boards: a case study
    (pp. 83-108)

    The annual Report of the Director of Selective Service for 1965 states : “The 4,016 local boards are the basic units where the fundamental operations of the System are performed.”¹ This chapter seeks to present and analyze empirical observations of local board behavior in one metropolitan area.

    After the disastrous draft riots of the Civil War, the Report of the Provost Marshal General recommended an educational policy to bring the people to a more rational view of the nature and necessity of the draft. The report did not specifically recommend civilian boards as a means of doing this.² The idea...

  10. Juvenile delinquency and military service
    (pp. 109-138)

    Although concepts of fairness would, in the abstract, require the entrance of 100 percent of the male population into the armed forces in times of declared war or serious emergency, the application of this is always tempered by the fact that some men are considered better qualified than others, and a minority are, for various reasons, considered not qualified at all.

    The first and most general restriction is on the basis of age. It is obvious that there is, in general, some age at which males would be too young and some age at which they would be too old...

  11. The Negro and the draft
    (pp. 139-162)

    The operation of the Selective Service System has given rise to one of those Great Debates that periodically appear on the American public scene. At the same time that the draft has come under intensive scrutiny, the momentum of the civil rights movement shows signs of both stalling and fragmenting. For the persistent obstacles in the way of the ongoing quest of American Negroes for dignity and equality have led to new appraisals of the means and probabilities of attaining these goals. Thus, a special source of controversy in the draft debate has been the degree, nature, and consequences of...

  12. Military service and occupational mobility
    (pp. 163-190)

    In its report of early 1964, the President’s Task Force on Manpower Conservation found that one-third of all young men in the nation turning eighteen would be found unqualified if they were to be examined for induction into the armed forces. About half of this third would be disqualified for medical reasons while the remaining half could not meet the mental requirements. The report proposed a nationwide program to rehabilitate these young men.¹

    In August, 1964, the Department of Defense announced plans for a Special Training and Enlistment Program (STEP) to be conducted by the Army on a pilot basis...

  13. Conclusion: implications for change
    (pp. 191-196)

    The National Advisory Commission on Selective Service in 1967 produced a report that set forth a program of reforming Selective Service. The main thrust of these recommendations was to improve the effectiveness of the administrative machinery of Selective Service by a more unified system and to increase the universality of the risks of service by eliminating various types of deferments. The specific recommendations of this report are compatible with—and in fact, built on—the type of institutional analysis presented in this volume. Organizational reform is central, as long as there is a need to rely on a Selective Service...

  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 197-214)
  15. Index
    (pp. 215-220)