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15th Field Artillery Regiment
1917 - 2008

15
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1969
Draft Lottery

chest_winner_clr.gif (28908 bytes)

INDEX
Background sound track - "Radio First Termer" - 
The Dave Rabbit radio show was an underground 
"outlaw" radio show in Vietnam during the war


Background of Selective Service
(Source: Selective Service System - June 25, 2001 revision)

For more than 50 years, Selective Service and the registration requirement for America's young men have served as a backup system to provide manpower to the U.S. Armed Forces.

President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 which created the country's first peacetime draft and formally established the Selective Service System as an independent Federal agency.

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.

In 1973, the draft ended and the U.S. converted to an All-Volunteer military.

The registration requirement was suspended in April 1975. It was resumed again in 1980 by President 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.

The obligation of a man to register is imposed by the Military Selective Service Act.  The Act establishes and governs the operations of the Selective Service System.

(Source: Selective Service System - June 25, 2001 revision)


Official notices...
 (click thumbnail images to enlarge)   

February 18, 1970
ORDER TO REPORT
FOR PHYSICAL EXAM

May 20, 1970
ORDER TO REPORT
FOR INDUCTION

This letter was the
first step of being
"drafted" into the
armed services

This letter meant
you were
"drafted" into the
armed services


The drawing...
   
The first capsule was drawn by Congressman
Alexander Pirnie (R-NY) of the House
Armed Services Committee
   

Photo: Selective Service System
A lottery many didn't want to win!

December 1, 1969 marked the date of the first draft lottery held since 1942. This drawing determined the order of induction for men born between January 1, 1944 and December 31, 1950.  A large glass container held 366 blue plastic balls containing every possible birth date and affecting men between 18 and 26 years old.



The following news article appeared in newspapers the 
day after the 1969 draft lottery; December 2, 1969

*     *     *     *     *

Sept. 14 'Wins' Draft Lottery

June 8 Brings Up The Rear;
850,000 Affected by Drawing
   

By Mike Miller

WASHINGTON -- The Selective Service System today was notifying the nation's 4,000 draft boards to arrange their files of draft eligible young men for 1970 with those born Sept. 14 at the top of the heap to be called up first.

And the official notice sent to state and local Selective Service authorities places those men with June 8 birthdays in 366th position -- at the very bottom.

850,000 Involved

That was the start and the finish of last night's long-awaited lottery-by-birthday drawing, which opened with an invocation and closed with a benediction.

In between it saw the draft future being determined for an estimated 850,000 young men, many of whom must have been saying their own prayers about the results.

For those with birthdays drawn in the upper portion of the lottery list -- April 24, Dec. 30, Feb. 14, Oct. 18, Sept. 6, Oct. 26, Sept. 7, Nov. 22 and Dec. 6 round out the top 10 -- the uncertainty over their draft status has ended.

Plans Can Be Made

They now know they will be drafted early in the year unless they volunteer first. And those at the bottom know that they will not be drafted and can plan their lives accordingly.

For those in the middle or marginal area of the drawing, uncertainty still exists. But they certainly will know definitely by the end of 1970 whether they will be inducted.

They would have had a maximum of seven years of uncertainty under the old system of drafting first the oldest available men age 19 through 25. This system expires Jan. 1.

Drawing Low-Key

The lottery was conducted in low key fashion with young men and women representing Selective Service's youth advisory committees in the various states drawing capsules containing slips of paper with the birth dates on them from a water-cooler size glass bowl.

Rep. Alexander Pirnie, New York Republican who drew the first date, was the only person in an official capacity to pull out the capsule. Mr. Pirnie is the senior Republican on the House Armed Service Committee's special subcommittee on the draft.

More Reform Urged

But the use of the young people led to a few public expressions of dissent that while the lottery is commendable, more wide-ranging draft reforms should follow.

Three young men expressed such sentiments while a fourth, David L. Fowler representing the District of Columbia, said he had been "notified" not to draw and walked out. Nevertheless, Lt. Gen. Lewis B. Hershey, 76, Selective Service director who has been accused of heavy-handed draft policies, rose and shook Mr. Fowler's hand.

About a dozen youthful demonstrators picketed outside, denouncing the draft, the lottery and the Vietnam war, but they failed to interfere with the smooth precision of the drawing.

Following the drawing of dates, including Feb. 29 for men born in a leap year, the young people also drew the 26 letters of the alphabet to determine the order for induction for men registered with the same draft board and having the same birthday.  J was drawn first, V last. Thus a man named Jones would be drafted before Vickery under those circumstances.

Upon receiving official notice of the lottery's results, local draft boards will arrange their files of registrants accordingly and draft in the order dates were drawn. After a board has filled its draft quota for the year, those men whose birthdays have not been reached will be free of all draft liability except in time of extreme national emergency.

As a general rule, Selective Service expects those with dates drawn in the upper third of the list will be drafted. Those in the middle third are of questionable status and those in the bottom third will not have serve.

The estimated 850,000 who will be 19 through 25 and classified 1-A or draft eligible as of Jan. 1 are directly affected by last night's drawing. After the first year, only men 19 at the beginning of the year and older men with deferments which have expired will be affected by the annual lotteries.

For men now in the 19-25 pool with college or other deferments, the position their birthdays were drawn will determine their liability in the year their deferments expire. For example, President Nixon's son-in-law, David Eisenhower, apparently will be ripe for drafting when his deferment expires in mid-1970 upon his expected graduation from Amherst College. His birthday, March 31, was drawn 30th. Since men in the 30th position in his draft board probably will already have been drafted by June, David would go to the top of his draft board's list of eligibles.

Neither Gen. Hershey nor any of the other Selective Service officials present moved to cut off the statements of the handful of participants who spoke out. Larry McKibben, the Iowa representative, read a petition he said represented the views of 14 young people. The 14 objected to the barring from the proceedings of Michigan and Alaska delegates who had come to Washington for the occasion but then reportedly announced they would refuse to draw out birth dates. John M. Bowers of Minnesota said the petition did not represent the views of any of the others.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *

15th Webmaster's note: In reality, the lottery numbers of 19 year old men were called at a rate of 30 per month, at least for the early-1970 months of January through May.  For example, a man with a #131 was ordered to report for his physical exam 18 Feb 70, subsequently classified 1-A, and then ordered to report for induction 20 May 70 (May's maximum quota allowance called men with the numbers 121 through 150)

The draftee with the #131 was in the Central Highlands of Vietnam by February of 1971 at his first duty station, following Basic Combat Training (BCT) and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Ft. Dix, New Jersey.

The highest number drafted in this group of men was 195.


How's your "Luck of the Draw"?

jumping_Clover_lg_clr.gif (3188 bytes)

See how YOU would have done:

    

JANUARY

FEBRUARY

MARCH

Jan 1    305 Feb 1    86 Mar 1    108
Jan 2    159 Feb 2    144 Mar 2    29
Jan 3    251 Feb 3    297 Mar 3    267
Jan 4    215 Feb 4    210 Mar 4    275
Jan 5    101 Feb 5    214 Mar 5    293
Jan 6    224 Feb 6    347 Mar 6    139
Jan 7    306 Feb 7    91 Mar 7    122
Jan 8    199 Feb 8    181 Mar 8    213
Jan 9    194 Feb 9    338 Mar 9    317
Jan 10   325 Feb 10   216 Mar 10   323
Jan 11   329 Feb 11   150 Mar 11   136
Jan 12   221 Feb 12   68 Mar 12   300
Jan 13   318 Feb 13   152 Mar 13   259
Jan 14   238 Feb 14   4 Mar 14   354

Jan 15   17 

Feb 15   89

Mar 15   169 

Jan 16   121 Feb 16   212 Mar 16   166
Jan 17   235 Feb 17   189 Mar 17   33
Jan 18   140 Feb 18   292 Mar 18   332
Jan 19   58 Feb 19   25 Mar 19   200
Jan 20   280 Feb 20   302 Mar 20   239
Jan 21   186 Feb 21   363 Mar 21   334
Jan 22   337 Feb 22   290 Mar 22   265
Jan 23   118 Feb 23   57 Mar 23   256
Jan 24   59 Feb 24   236 Mar 24   258
Jan 25   52 Feb 25   179 Mar 25   343
Jan 26   92 Feb 26   365 Mar 26   170
Jan 27   355 Feb 27   205 Mar 27   268
Jan 28   77 Feb 28   299 Mar 28   223
Jan 29   349 Feb 29   285 Mar 29   362
Jan 30   164   Mar 30   217
Jan 31   211   Mar 31   30

APRIL

MAY

JUNE

Apr 1    32 May 1    330 Jun 1    249
Apr 2    271 May 2    298 Jun 2    228
Apr 3    83 May 3    40 Jun 3    301
Apr 4    81 May 4    276 Jun 4    20
Apr 5    269 May 5    364 Jun 5    28
Apr 6    253 May 6    155 Jun 6    110
Apr 7    147 May 7    35 Jun 7    85
Apr 8    312 May 8    321 Jun 8    366
Apr 9    219 May 9    197 Jun 9    335
Apr 10   218 May 10   65 Jun 10   206
Apr 11   14 May 11   37 Jun 11   134
Apr 12   346 May 12   133 Jun 12   272
Apr 13   124 May 13   295 Jun 13   69
Apr 14   231 May 14   178 Jun 14   356
Apr 15   273    May 15   130 Jun 15   180
Apr 16   148 May 16   55 Jun 16   274
Apr 17   260 May 17   112 Jun 17   73
Apr 18   90 May 18   278 Jun 18   341
Apr 19   336 May 19   75 Jun 19   104
Apr 20   345 May 20   183 Jun 20   360
Apr 21   62 May 21   250 Jun 21   60
Apr 22   316 May 22   326 Jun 22   247
Apr 23   252 May 23   319 Jun 23   109
Apr 24   2 May 24   31 Jun 24   358
Apr 25   351 May 25   361 Jun 25   137
Apr 26   340 May 26   357 Jun 26   22
Apr 27   74 May 27   296 Jun 27   64
Apr 28   262 May 28   308 Jun 28   222
Apr 29   191 May 29   226 Jun 29   353
Apr 30   208 May 30   103 Jun 30   209
May 31   313

JULY

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

Jul 1    93 Aug 1    111 Sep 1    225
Jul 2   350 Aug 2    45 Sep 2    161
Jul 3   115 Aug 3    261 Sep 3    49
Jul 4    279 Aug 4    145 Sep 4    232
Jul 5    188 Aug 5    54 Sep 5    82
Jul 6    327 Aug 6    114 Sep 6    6
Jul 7    50 Aug 7    168 Sep 7    8
Jul 8    13 Aug 8    48 Sep 8    184
Jul 9    277 Aug 9    106 Sep 9    263
Jul 10   284 Aug 10   21 Sep 10   71
Jul 11   248 Aug 11   324 Sep 11   158
Jul 12   15 Aug 12   142 Sep 12   242
Jul 13   42 Aug 13   307 Sep 13   175
Jul 14   331 Aug 14   198 Sep 14   1
Jul 15   322 Aug 15   102 Sep 15   113
Jul 16   120    Aug 16   44 Sep 16   207
Jul 17   98 Aug 17   154 Sep 17   255
Jul 18   190 Aug 18   141 Sep 18   246
Jul 19   227 Aug 19   311 Sep 19   177
Jul 20   187 Aug 20   344 Sep 20   63
Jul 21   27 Aug 21   291 Sep 21   204
Jul 22   153 Aug 22   339 Sep 22   160
Jul 23   172 Aug 23   116 Sep 23   119
Jul 24   23 Aug 24   36 Sep 24   195
Jul 25   67 Aug 25   286 Sep 25   149
Jul 26   303 Aug 26   245 Sep 26   18
Jul 27   289 Aug 27   352 Sep 27   233
Jul 28   88 Aug 28   167 Sep 28   257
Jul 29   270 Aug 29   61 Sep 29   151
Jul 30   287 Aug 30   333 Sep 30   315
Jul 31   193 Aug 31   11

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

Oct 1    359 Nov 1    19 Dec 1    129
Oct 2    125 Nov 2    34 Dec 2    328
Oct 3    244 Nov 3    348 Dec 3    157
Oct 4    202 Nov 4    266 Dec 4    165
Oct 5    24 Nov 5    310 Dec 5    56
Oct 6    87 Nov 6    76 Dec 6    10
Oct 7    234 Nov 7    51 Dec 7    12
Oct 8    283 Nov 8    97 Dec 8    105
Oct 9    342 Nov 9    80 Dec 9    43
Oct 10   220 Nov 10   282 Dec 10   41
Oct 11   237 Nov 11   46 Dec 11   39
Oct 12   72 Nov 12   66 Dec 12   314
Oct 13   138 Nov 13   126 Dec 13   163
Oct 14   294 Nov 14   127 Dec 14   26
Oct 15   171 Nov 15   131 Dec 15   320
Oct 16   254 Nov 16   107 Dec 16   96
Oct 17   288 Nov 17   143 Dec 17   304
Oct 18   5 Nov 18   146 Dec 18   128
Oct 19   241 Nov 19   203 Dec 19   240
Oct 20   192 Nov 20   185 Dec 20   135
Oct 21   243 Nov 21   156 Dec 21   70
Oct 22   117 Nov 22   9 Dec 22   53
Oct 23   201 Nov 23   182 Dec 23   162
Oct 24   196 Nov 24   230 Dec 24   95
Oct 25   176 Nov 25   132 Dec 25   84
Oct 26   7 Nov 26   309 Dec 26   173
Oct 27   264 Nov 27   47 Dec 27   78
Oct 28   94 Nov 28   281 Dec 28   123
Oct 29   229 Nov 29   99 Dec 29   16
Oct 30   38 Nov 30   174 Dec 30   3
Oct 31   79 Dec 31   100

   

Also see: 1970 - 1971 - 1972  Draft Lottery results

   

   
Draft Board Classifications

The following is a list of Selective Service classifications
that could be assigned by draft boards:

Classification

Definition

I-A

Available for military service

I-A-0

Conscientious objector available for noncombatant military service only

I-C

Member of the armed forces of the U.S., the Coast and Geodetic Survey, or the Public Health Service

I-D

Member of reserve component or student taking military training

I-H

Registrant not currently subject to processing for induction

I-0

Conscientious objector available for civilian work contributing to the maintenance of the national health, safety, or interest

I-S

Student deferred by statute (High School)

I-Y

Registrant available for military service, but qualified for military only in the event of war or national emergency

I-W

Conscientious objector performing civilian work
contributing to the maintenance of the national health, safety, or interest

II-A

Registrant deferred because of civilian occupation (except agriculture or activity in study)

II-C

Registrant deferred because of agricultural occupation

II-D

Registrant deferred because of study preparing for the ministry

II-S

Registrant deferred because of activity in study

III-A

Registrant with a child or children; registrant deferred by reason of extreme hardship to dependents

IV-A

Registrant who has completed service; sole surviving son

IV-B

Official deferred by law

IV-C

Alien

IV-D

Minister of religion or divinity student

IV-F

Registrant not qualified for any military service

IV-G

Registrant exempt from service during peace (surviving son or brother)

IV-W

Conscientious objector who has completed alternate service contributing to the maintenance of the national health, safety, or interest in lieu of induction into the Armed Forces of the United States

V-A

Registrant over the age of liability for military service
...a further note from an email in May 2002:
"I noticed that my draft classification was not listed on your site's list of draft board classification - 1SC. It meant that you had exactly six months to get your affairs in order before you would be drafted. 
I was 2S until February 1966 when I received my draft notice to report for induction. After talking with my draft board they let me finish my school semester then drafted me. During that period I was issued a draft card with the 1SC designation. 
In July of 1966 I was drafted into the US Army. Regards, Tom Olsen, Pvt, USCDCEC, 1966-1968"

Our appreciation goes out to the "Beachmaster" for sending additional codes for our original list from his copy of 'SSS Form 110' dated August 11, 1972.  See his additions above under classifications: 1H, 2D, 4G, and 4W.

 

About 60% of eligible men escaped
military service during the Vietnam era

   

Vietnam Troop Levels
Source: Congressional Quarterlies

1960

900

1961

3,200

1962

11,300

1963

16,300

1964

23,300

1965

184,300

1966

385,300

1967

485,600

1968

536,100

1969

475,200

1970

334,600

1971

156,800

1972

24,200

By 1972, an estimated 70,000 draft evaders
and deserters were living in Canada

   

LINKS
1970 Draft Lottery
1971 Draft Lottery
1972 Draft Lottery
Induction Statistics (1917-1973)
Peace Now
Selective Service System (off site)

November 2001 - Nationwide, there are currently 13.3
million 18 to 25 year olds registered for the draft 


   

Visitors since 10-23-2001   Hit Counter  

   

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