The Selective Service: What It Is and Who It Applies To

When men turn 18 in America, they aren’t just considered adults, they’re also old enough to join the military. In fact, every male must sign up for the Selective Service. What is that, though? And who exactly has to sign up?

Selective Service: A Rundown

The US used the draft when they were unable to fill jobs within the military with people who had volunteered for the service. That draft was run by the Selective Service.

In 1973, the draft ended after outrage related to the Vietnam War. The military switched to an all-volunteer force, but the Selective Service remained in place for emergent situations. If there is ever a time when national security is at risk and the armed forces don’t have enough personnel to maintain the safety of the nation, the draft would begin again. That’s why many Americans are required to sign up for it.

Who’s Required to Sign Up

Not every American is currently required to sign up for Selective Service. Only men have to do it right now. But not just US citizens, every male age 18 through 25 must enroll.

Who, exactly, must sign up? Here’s the list:

  • Male immigrants, legal and illegal, who fall within the age bracket must register within 30 days of entering the US
  • American males are required to sign up within 30 days after turning 18
  • Residents in US territories
  • Disabled men who don’t live in a facility
  • Men 18 to 25 in the armed forces who are not serving continuously
  • Transgender women (who were born men)

Women are not currently required to register for the Selective Service, but that could change in the future.

It’s incredibly important that all men who fall within the age bracket make sure they register. Failure to enroll could lead to the inability to receive federally-backed student loans and the possibility of losing or not qualifying for permanent residency for immigrants. Besides, who doesn’t want to keep America safe?