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This Time, They're Asking; DoD, Selective Service Team Up

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2001 – The Selective Service System and Defense Department are teaming up again. This time, not to draft young men into the military, but to give them information about the services.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Navy Capt. Martha Bills, commander of the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command, and Justo Gonzalez, director of operation for the Selective Service System, hold an example of the new mailing that will go to all 18-year-old men who register for the draft. Photo by Lew Brodsky

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

The end of the draft in 1973 didn't end draft registration or the Selective Service System. Draft registration continued through 1975 and then restarted in 1980. By law, all young men must register with Selective Service upon turning 18.

"When someone registers for the draft, Selective Service sends out an acknowledgement of the registration," said Bill Carr, DoD's assistant director for recruiting policy. "They send about 2 million each year. Beginning Jan. 26, we'll be including a brochure about military opportunities in these acknowledgement letters."

The mailings will be done at the Great Lakes, Ill. Data Processing Facility jointly administered by the Military Entrance Processing Command and the Selective Service System.

"We approached DoD on this," said Lewis Brodsky, director of public and congressional affairs at the service. The service has sent a post card acknowledgement to young men registering for the draft. Now they will also receive an envelope containing the brochure.

"DoD is paying the extra costs of the mailing," Brodsky said. "We thought, 'Why mail just a card?' This is direct assistance to all the military services. Through this, they can reach 40,000 18-year-old males a month."

Gil Coronado, director of the Selective Service System said he saw this as a way for the agency to do more for America. "We wanted to increase our value to our nation's military programs in peace as well as war."

The mailing will also contain a "bounce back" card so young men can request information on the military. Carr said the brochure includes information on all active duty, reserve military components and ROTC.

"With this, recruiters get a hot, bona fide lead," Brodsky said. "They are not using commercial lists, which DoD buys and might be old. These are accurate and contain valid information, and we know these young men are getting the mailing."

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