Selective Service

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The Selective Service System issued its last major group of Regulation changes last week, and thus ended more than two years of almost constant reform in draft policies and registrant rights . The Regulations issued concern pro- cedures for personal appearances and appeals, among other subj.ects. The 10 M.rch action by Selective Service Director Curtis W. Tarr removes the administrative hold on personal appearances and appeals which has been in effect since late 1971. Tarr had directed the 4,100 local draft boards to suspend action on most requests for personal appearances and appeals so that registrants would be af· forded the procedural rights incorporated in the 1971 amend- rrEl'ltsto the law. The Regulations, which became effective on 11 March, set a 15-day time limit following the mailing of a Notice of Classification card in which a regis- trant must request a local board personal appearance or an appeal. When he demonstrates that his failure to respond within the 15 days was due to reasons beyond his control, his local board may grant an extension of the 15-day period. The new Regulations also require local and appeal boards to give a registrant at least 15 days notice of his ' scheduled personal appearance before his local or appeal board. Another change announced gives a registrant who is under a long postponement of induction the right to receive consideration from his local board for a reopening of his classification to hear claims for exemp- tion, deferment or conscientious objector status. The new Regulations also allow a registrant to have up to three witnesses appear in his behalf at· his local board personal appearance, require that a quorum of the members of the local board be present, entitle him to 15 minutes for his presentation, and state that his local board must furnish him with the reasons should he receive an adverse decision on his classification request.

He is not allowed to have witnesses appear in his behalf before appeal boards. The Regulations issued were prepublished for public comment in early January in accordance with a 1971 amendment to the draft law which requires that all changes in Selective Service Regulations be "proposed" to the public by printing them in the Federal Register at least 30 days in advance of the effective date . During the 30 days, public comments were received and evaluated. The more than two-year period of major reform in draft policies began in late 1969 when President Nixon directed Selective Service to institute the lottery system for determining . who should be called into military service. Then, in April 1970, the President authorized the phasing -out of occupational and paternity deferments. At the same time, he asked Congress for authority to phase out undergraduate student deferments and to establish a Uniform National Call procedure for inducting men into the armed services. In the fall of 1971, Congress approved these requests and also authorized several new procedural rights for registrants. These 1971 amend- ments to the Military Selective Service Act required implementing Regulations, and these have been issued in two parts- -the first on 9 December. Commenting on the issuance of this last major package of Regulation changes, Draft Director Curtis W. Tarr said : "You can characterize the pre-1969 Selective Service as a state and local system with very little national uniformity. I believe that the draft today is rapidly being transformed into a national system and that one of the major goals of the President is being achieved by providing a draft system with universal equity as the guideline." A personal appearance before a quorum of his state appeal board and, when the vote of the state appeal board is less than unanimous, the Presidential appeal board, also are provided for by the new Regulations. These boards also must furnish the registrant with the reasons should he receive adverse decisions on his classification . request.


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