What Are the Capabilities of the Selective Service System?

FPCD-79-4: Published: Dec 14, 1978. Publicly Released: Dec 14, 1978.

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The role of the Selective Service System is to maintain a system capable of drafting people into the armed services, to operate a program of alternative service for persons not required to perform military service, and to determine the availability of standby reservists. During peacetime, the military departments rely on volunteers for needed manpower; however, after mobilization the Selective Service System will draft manpower.

Selective Service indicated that it had the capability to meet the Department of Defense's (DOD) previous manpower requirements with its fiscal year (FY) 1977 budget of $6.3 million. DOD has since imposed stricter requirements, and the Service now says that it could not deliver the necessary manpower with a budget the size of that for FY 1977. In addition, the current administration cut the FY 1979 budget proposal of $15.4 million to about $9.5 million. DOD says that it would need 100,000 people within 60 days of mobilization, but the Service feels that it would take 125 days to provide that many people. The key to a shorter delivery time lies in having a list of eligible people to be drafted in case of mobilization. The Selective Service has considered alternate ways to develop a list of draft-eligible people, but some information will not be available because of possible violations of the Privacy Act. To attain a shorter delivery time, the Selective Service should request an exception to the Privacy Act. (RRS)

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