Military draft: How it works and what you need to know

Updated: Jan. 8, 2020 at 4:40 PM CST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A certain word has been floating around the collective consciousness once again: “draft”.

Fake text messages have been making the rounds, causing some people to think they’ve been chosen to fight in Iran.

“It’s nationwide," said United States Army recruiter Lt. Colonel Andrew Burgess. "They were not initiated by US Army Recruiting Command or the US Army.”

Lt. Col Burgess says that the US Army does not enact the draft, adding that it “has not been initiated since 1973, and since that time we have been an all-volunteer force.”

The task of enacting the draft falls on the Selective Service System.

Selective Service System Director Donald Benton says there will not be a draft “unless Congress passes a law that authorizes it and the president signs it. Let’s be clear on that.”

Benton cleared up some confusion, as social media posts and online searches about the draft soared after last week’s US airstrike in Iraq.

He says there’s also been an influx of people inquiring about the Selective Service through its website, which caused major technical issues.

“We then controlled the traffic, and that slowed down the system significantly,” he said.

Registering for Selective Service is required by law, and Benton says that it could hinder some men if they don’t sign up, denying them federal employment of student aid.

So in the meantime, if you happen to be on the receiving end of one of these messages, you can rest easy.

“I want to ensure everybody that they should not be alarmed because these are false messages,” said Lt. Col. Burgess.

Selective Service emphasizes that there are no plans for a draft at this time.

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