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Thread: News - Millennium bug returns: US draft notices sent to men born in 1800s

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    News - Millennium bug returns: US draft notices sent to men born in 1800s

    The Selective Service System has sent notices to over 14,000 deceased Pennsylvania men.
    Read more.

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    ZaO
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    Re: News - Millennium bug returns: US draft notices sent to men born in 1800s

    Haha It's funny from here. But I guess it must've been a bit upsetting for those who got the letter :/

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    Re: News - Millennium bug returns: US draft notices sent to men born in 1800s

    Quote Originally Posted by ZaO View Post
    Haha It's funny from here. But I guess it must've been a bit upsetting for those who got the letter :/
    Not as upsetting as I suspect many both alive and young enough to qualify would find getting it.

    It seems .... anachronistic .... that, in the 21st century, the "Land of the Free" still feels it necessary to run a system designed specifically for the purpose of compulsory and non-voluntary military service. Even more anachronistic when it seems, from discussions in recent years, that it's very likely to be politically suicidal for any politician or administration to actually try to activate the draft.

    I wonder how any attempt to implement such a system would go down here in the UK?

    Mind you, it's one way to reduce youth unemployment rates.

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    Re: News - Millennium bug returns: US draft notices sent to men born in 1800s

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    Not as upsetting as I suspect many both alive and young enough to qualify would find getting it.

    It seems .... anachronistic .... that, in the 21st century, the "Land of the Free" still feels it necessary to run a system designed specifically for the purpose of compulsory and non-voluntary military service. Even more anachronistic when it seems, from discussions in recent years, that it's very likely to be politically suicidal for any politician or administration to actually try to activate the draft.

    I wonder how any attempt to implement such a system would go down here in the UK?

    Mind you, it's one way to reduce youth unemployment rates.
    Haha.. Er, but don't we already have that here? I don't like the idea that it can be forced on anyone! But I think it might be necessary if it was for the cause of defending your country from an overwhelming attack. But it's not cool if they used it to force people to invade other countries

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    Re: News - Millennium bug returns: US draft notices sent to men born in 1800s

    Quote Originally Posted by ZaO View Post
    Haha.. Er, but don't we already have that here? I don't like the idea that it can be forced on anyone! But I think it might be necessary if it was for the cause of defending your country from an overwhelming attack. But it's not cool if they used it to force people to invade other countries
    We, assuming you mean UK don't, no. Haven't had for 50 years or more, IIRC.

    But I ought to clarify the difference.

    What the US has is a registration requirement. Just about every male, between (IIRC) 18 and about 26 has to register, on pain of criminal penalties, and/or restriction to some welfare entitlements, student funding, etc.

    Moreover, it doesn't only apply to US citizens, but many resident aliens (green card holders), immigrants, etc, and failing to do so can be used to reject subsequent citizenship applucations. Ironically, even illegal immigrants resident in the US are required to register.

    Notice I said "males". Yup, only males.

    But what hasn't been done (as far as I know) in the US for some decades, and would be politically VERY dangerous to try, is to activate the draft, and actually start calling people up, for active service. Mind you, the periods for which those already serving have been extended, sometimes considerably, from what was expected to what now is .... the so-called "stop-loss" provisions, to stem the flow of experienced combat soldiers leaving the forces.

    The registration requirement, therefore, is rather like a contingency plan, to have the facility in place to call up a draft, should the political will, and balls, to do it actually be found.

    The UK has had conscription in the past, but not for a long time. The last time was national service, and that ended in 1960, with the last national servicemen leaving in '63. These days, the UK has an entirely voluntary, and professional, forces. Well, quite how professional the TA is, some might question. Me? Dunno, not having done either TA or mainstream forces. I'm sure we've got quite a few members that have, that could answer that.

    As for whether it'd be necessary in the event of the country being attacked, I think it'd depend on exactly what happened. Unless it was a very substantial, and very protracted engagement, I'm not sure how much use tens of thousands of barely trained neophytes would be, and by the time they were trained well enough to get their boots on the right feet and which end of a rifle was which, it'd probably be over, one way of the other, anyway.

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    Re: News - Millennium bug returns: US draft notices sent to men born in 1800s

    June 1973 saw the end of the US draft although in 1980 it was effectively renamed as the selective service system

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    Re: News - Millennium bug returns: US draft notices sent to men born in 1800s

    Quote Originally Posted by HalloweenJack View Post
    June 1973 saw the end of the US draft although in 1980 it was effectively renamed as the selective service system
    As I understand it, there's two elements.

    1) Registration for conscription, the SSS.

    2) Actual call-up of conscriptees, the draft itself.

    The second has certainly ended, and would be politically very difficult to do now, though it's been mooted several times, by some very senior people, only to have the idea rapidly, erm, shot down ( sorry, bad analogy ) by those even more senior.

    But the first bit is very much alive and kicking. And, it seems, trying to register those for whom the musket is state of the art weaponry, and a tank is something you store water in.

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    Re: News - Millennium bug returns: US draft notices sent to men born in 1800s

    http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/wars/a/draft.htm


    ^^ have a read - seems someone has been trying to bring a draft bill back to law for the last 10 ears , and congress doesn't want it.

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    Re: News - Millennium bug returns: US draft notices sent to men born in 1800s

    Quote Originally Posted by HalloweenJack View Post
    http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/wars/a/draft.htm


    ^^ have a read - seems someone has been trying to bring a draft bill back to law for the last 10 ears , and congress doesn't want it.
    Good article. Thanks.

    It makes many if the same points I was already aware of, but puts it all together into a cogent and cohesive case very thoroughly.

    And brings me neatly back to my original contention, that given actually implementing a draft isn't seriously suggested by anyone with an IQ above that of a housebrick, that as suggested wkuld bankrupt the entire country pretty much immediately, would be hopelessly ineffective because, as suggested, by the time you finished training draftees to the standard required by current technology, they'd have completed their draft period and be eligible for release, and that the army wouldn't get people of either the required quality or motivation anyway, ...

    ..... why the bleep spend $25-$30 million a year maintaining the registration database?

    It has moved on a bit from the hilarity of the 'bug letters', but it seems to me that, cockup though that might be, the bigger cockup is running rhe Selective Service program at all.

    This really does seem to be a good use of an oft-quoted and oft-misused phrase ..... only in America.

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    ZaO
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    Re: News - Millennium bug returns: US draft notices sent to men born in 1800s

    Well that's good to know that it doesn't exist here. I remember my parents telling me about the National service thing when I was a kid. So I just thought there was probably something along those lines still in existence. I don't even see any point in America using such a thing, when it comes to defense of the country. There must be loads of Citizens who are trained in, and own firearms! But I guess they're trying to change that now aren't they..

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    Re: News - Millennium bug returns: US draft notices sent to men born in 1800s

    Quote Originally Posted by ZaO View Post
    Well that's good to know that it doesn't exist here. I remember my parents telling me about the National service thing when I was a kid. So I just thought there was probably something along those lines still in existence. I don't even see any point in America using such a thing, when it comes to defense of the country. There must be loads of Citizens who are trained in, and own firearms! But I guess they're trying to change that now aren't they..
    Interesting topic - wasn't aware that there was such a thing as "Selective Service" still going on in the US.

    As for bringing it over here to solve the "youth unemployment problem", I remember some discussion in Yes (Prime) Minister about the undesirability of taking an unemployed youth, training him to kill, then releasing said youth back onto the streets ... still without a job. Of course, it's also interesting that the folks advocating the return of national service aren't those to which it'd be applied.

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    Re: News - Millennium bug returns: US draft notices sent to men born in 1800s

    Quote Originally Posted by crossy View Post
    Interesting topic - wasn't aware that there was such a thing as "Selective Service" still going on in the US.

    As for bringing it over here to solve the "youth unemployment problem", I remember some discussion in Yes (Prime) Minister about the undesirability of taking an unemployed youth, training him to kill, then releasing said youth back onto the streets ... still without a job. Of course, it's also interesting that the folks advocating the return of national service aren't those to which it'd be applied.
    Having friends from nations that still apply military service, there is something very strange about dragging a pacifist, masters student several thousand miles back to their homeland in order to have them tramp around a field holding a gun for the best part of a year.

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    Re: News - Millennium bug returns: US draft notices sent to men born in 1800s

    Quote Originally Posted by crossy View Post
    .... Of course, it's also interesting that the folks advocating the return of national service aren't those to which it'd be applied.
    Of course. Naturally. Those are the best political policies .... tell others how to live, but expect to have to live like it yourself! Shudder!!!

    In my defence, I'd just point out suggesting it would solve 'youf' unemployment was entirely fascetious. I'm NOT in favour of the draft. I'm certainly not eligible for it, but short of dire national emergency, like oh, a World War, I'd have resented it like hell if it'd been imposed on me, and far from encouraging citizenship feelings, it would have left me angry, no, furious, and resentful as all hell against those that imposed it.

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    Re: News - Millennium bug returns: US draft notices sent to men born in 1800s

    I have to say, I read this and my first thought was that parades would be awesome...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hG6oy46qKE4#t=2m40s

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    Re: News - Millennium bug returns: US draft notices sent to men born in 1800s

    No millenium bug, only human error in not specifying the correct century to search.

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