The Bugler

Bugler Newsletter
 

Military Draft

Though the United States was not yet involved in the Second World War, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, which required all male citizens between the ages of 26 and 35 to register for the military draft. It was the country's first peacetime draft and formally established the Selective Service System as an independent federal agency.

Roosevelt considered it a prudent step to train American men for military service in case the U.S. would have to defend itself against growing threats from Europe and Japan. At the time, Poland, Holland, Belgium, France and Norway had been invaded by Germany, and word had begun to spread of Hitler's persecution of Jews and other minorities in concentration camps. It appeared that Great Britain would be next on the list of Nazi casualties. Hitler's Air Force bombarded England, and the German Navy blockaded the island nation in preparation for a planned invasion.

Roosevelt responded to British distress by selling the country more military equipment and providing increased humanitarian aid. After signing the Selective Service Act, Roosevelt warned, "America stands at the crossroads of its destiny. Time and distance have been shortened. A few weeks have seen great nations fall. We cannot remain indifferent to the philosophy of force now rampant in the world. We must and will marshal our great potential strength to fend off war from our shores. We must and will prevent our land from becoming a victim of aggression."

There was little resistance to the draft at the time, and it may not have been necessary for, after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, American men flocked to recruitment centers to enlist in the military.

From 1948 until 1973, during both peacetime and periods of conflict, men were drafted to fill vacancies in the armed forces which could not be filled through voluntary means.

A lottery drawing - the first since 1942 - was held on December 1, 1969, at Selective Service National Headquarters in Washington, D.C. This event determined the order of call for induction for registrants born between January 1, 1944 and December 31, 1950. Reinstitution of the lottery was a change from the oldest first method (explained below), which had been the determining method for deciding order of call.

366 blue plastic capsules containing birth dates were placed in a large glass jar and drawn by hand to assign order-of-call numbers to all men within the 18-26 age range specified in Selective Service law. With radio, film and TV coverage, the capsules were drawn from the jar, opened, and the dates inside posted in order. The first capsule - drawn by Congressman Alexander Pirnie (R-NY) of the House Armed Services Committee - contained the date September 14, so all men born on September 14 in any year between 1944 and 1950 were assigned lottery number 1. The drawing continued until all days of the year had been matched to lottery numbers.

In 1973, the draft ended and the U.S. converted to an all-volunteer military. The registration requirement was suspended in April 1975 but was resumed again in 1980 by President Jimmy Carter in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Registration continues today as a hedge against underestimating the number of servicemen needed in a future crisis.

How the Draft has Changed Since Vietnam (this report from Selective Service)
If a draft were held today, it would be dramatically different from the one held during the Vietnam War. A series of reforms during the latter part of the Vietnam conflict changed the way the draft operated to make it more fair and equitable. If a draft were held today, there would be fewer reasons to excuse a man [or woman] from service. Before Congress made improvements to the draft in 1971, a man could qualify for a student deferment if he could show he was a full-time student making satisfactory progress toward a degree. Under the current draft law, a college student can have his induction postponed only until the end of the current semester. A senior can be postponed until the end of the academic year. If a draft were held today, local boards would better represent the communities they serve.

The changes in the new draft law made in 1971 included the provision that membership on the boards was required to be as representative as possible of the racial and national origin of registrants in the area served by the board. A draft held today would use a lottery to determine the order of call.

Before the lottery was implemented in the latter part of the Vietnam conflict, local draft boards called men classified 1-A (18O through 25 years old) "oldest first." This resulted in uncertainty for the potential draftees during the entire time they were within the draft-eligible age group. A draft held today would use a lottery system under which a man would spend only one year in first priority for the draft - either the calendar year he turned 20 or the year his deferment ended. Each year after that, he would be placed in a succeedingly lower priority group and his liability for the draft would lessen accordingly. In this way, he would be spared the uncertainty of waiting until his 26th birthday to be certain he would not be drafted.

The Last Draftee
Command Sergeant Major Jeff Mellinger is retiring. What makes that newsworthy is that CSM Mellinger is the Army's last draftee. According to the Associated Press, when the draft notice arrived at his home in 1972, the return address on the letter was the White House. Just 19, he was impressed that President Richard Nixon had written to him! He was assigned as an office clerk in Germany. After his draft term ended, he enlisted and went on to earn a spot in the Army Rangers, doing more than 3,700 parachute jumps. He made command sergeant major in 1992. He was sent to ground zero in New York City right after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as part of an advance party from the 1st Army. Later, he was top enlisted soldier of the Multi-National Force-Iraq, where he reputedly survived 27 roadside bombings during his deployment of nearly three years straight. A recruiting poster in Mellinger's office at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, shows how much things have changed since he was drafted: it encourages female troops to try out for female engagement teams that work in war zones with Special Forces troops. Glendale salutes his years of service!

A sales opportunity at 45% savings!

DrillAmerica® Safety and Moving Bolts
No singular product in Glendale's history has been as successful as the DrillAmerica® M1 Garand Replica Drill Rifle! For years we sold it with a stationary bolt. By popular request, a moving bolt or safety bolt could be purchased separately. But it seemed that almost everyone who bought that rifle really wanted to have it with a moving bolt. How much easier we thought just to assemble it that way at the factory and save people the trouble of changing the bolts after purchase. But, while improving one idea, we put a kibosh on the other! The DrillAmerica® rifle with the moving bolt, factory assembled, is selling like crazy! The individual moving bolt and safety bolts - not so much! Hardly anyone is interested anymore in purchasing the bolts separately. We're well stocked with these, so we're going to reduce their costs dramatically in the hope that we can move them out of the warehouse by the end of October.
Here's the deal:
DrillAmerica Safety BoltDrillAmerica Rifle Moving BoltThe moving bolt for the DrillAmerica® rifle was priced at $34.75 each. It's now 45% off at $19.15 each! Engraved moving bolts will be reduced, as well: now $34.15 each. The safety bolt for the DrillAmerica® rifle was priced at $26.50 each. It's now 45% off at $14.60 each! Engraved safety bolts will be reduced, as well: now $29.60 each. Please note that both bolts are designed to fit rifles purchased before April 2010. It was then that we added the two dowel pins. These bolts will not work with the dowel pins.

DrillAmerica® Rifle Stock
DrillAmerica Rifle StockThough we had requests to manufacture a heavier-weight drill stock, it's just not a big seller. (You win some; you lose some!) Can we entice you to buy with a dramatic drop in the price? The DrillAmerica® rifle stock was priced at $79.95 each. It's now 45% off at $44.00 each! They can be used as a replacement stock for rifles purchased before April 2010, or they can be used on their own for practice drill. The stock alone weighs 5.5 pounds.

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