The Vietnam War was one of the many wars in the 19th century that had a draft, but it was the last war to ever have a draft implemented during that time period. On December 1st, 1969, America's first military draft lottery since World War II was held. Vietnam Lotteries A lottery drawing – the first since 1942 – was held on December 1, 1969, at Selective Service National Headquarters in Washington, D.C. However the results of the lottery were not changed. Overall, an estimated 60% of potentially eligible men escaped the draft in the Vietnam years, mostly by qualifying for exemptions of many different kinds. Even then, the law created a public outcry, because many believed that compulsory service was an infringement on personal liberty. To many, the draft was a death sentence. [Westmoreland] Approximately 70% of those killed were volunteers. It could have set a higher minimum grade on the Armed Forces Qualifying Test, the basic intelligence test, and still easily met military manpower needs. However, according to a remembrance on his high school class website, that young man volunteered for the draft, which he quite possibly could have avoided if he’d tried (just ask Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, or Rush Limbaugh). Congressman Alexander Pirnie (R-NY) drew the first capsule, which contained the date September 14. Those men came overwhelmingly from poor, low-status backgrounds. Legal authority for a peacetime draft came from the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, signed by President Franklin Roosevelt in order to mobilize American civilian-soldiers in anticipation of entry into World War II. Selective Service could have raised standards during the Vietnam War because the draft pool, born in the Baby Boom, was so large. How the Vietnam draft actually worked 1. Myth: Most Vietnam veterans were drafted. How I Got Out of the Vietnam Draft — And Why That Still Matters The Sept. 9, 1974, issue of TIME reports on the amnesty proposal, which was issued on Sept. 16, 1974. That was the last time the draft was used in the 20th century Who Has to Register? As a reporter for the Baltimore Sun, Arnold R. Isaacs covered both the war in Vietnam and the antiwar protests at home. The draft determined the “order of call” for 1970 for all men of draft age, which included all men born in the years 1944 through 1950. The country was a part of Imperial China until it … The stereotypes are wrong. The way the draft works is as follows. The first birth date drawn that night, assigned the lowest number, “001,” was September 14. In 1969 the first draft lottery was held. LIVE VIDEO coverage of the 1969 draft lottery by CBS can also be accessed from the LINKS page. The Vietnam War isn’t called that in Vietnam. Resistance to the military draft during the Vietnam Era resulted in the suspension of selective service in the US after 1972, although young men continued to register for the draft. The anti-war activists began objecting to the Vietnam War by resisting the draft, which was cemented in the minds of young, American males who were eligible to go to war. Significant draft avoidance was taking place even before the U.S. became heavily involved in the Vietnam War. In 1940, prior to U.S. entry into World War II, the first peacetime draft in our nation’s history was enacted in response to increased world tension and the system was able to fill wartime manpower needs smoothly and rapidly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Not only did those under-qualified men take disproportionate casualties in Vietnam, but of those who came home, more than half left military service with less than honorable discharges. During the Vietnam War era, between 1964 and 1973, the U.S. military drafted 2.2 million American men out of an eligible pool of 27 million. But as far as I can tell, he never apologized, in the book or anywhere else, for Project 100,000 or for draft policies that were applied so unequally to different classes of Americans — policies that were almost certainly one precursor of the social and cultural divides that split our country a half-century later. The remaining variables give the draft lottery numbers assigned to the birthdays: 1. The majority of the 15.4 million draft deferments given out during Vietnam were student deferments. The name itself shows a non-native understanding of … The Harvard casualty list includes just one draftee (one of only two men on the list who were not officers). COPYRIGHT © 2019 WAR ON THE ROCKS. It meant being sent to a war and fighting for a cause that many people did not believe in. The Draft in the Vietnam War (U.S. Army photograph, "Search-and-destroy patrol in Phuoc Tuy province") The Vietnam War was fundamentally a political war between communist North Vietnam and capitalist South Vietnam. However, men of draft age are still required to register under the Military Selective Service Act. Although only 25 percent of the military force in the combat zones were draftees, the system of conscription caused many young American men to volunteer for the armed forces in order to have … 2/3 of the men who served in World War II were drafted. Under rules promoted principally by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara — to the opposition of most military leaders — local draft boards across the country were required to call up scores of thousands of men with IQ scores below the minimum standard. Wikimedia Commons The draft was abolished in 1973. The calculator, of course, does not use your birth year because many of us were born well after the Vietnam War. Draft evasion in the Vietnam War was a common practice in Australia and the United States. A second lottery was also conducted for the 26 letters of the alphabet, to determine the order of priority (by last name) for each date of birth. On December 1, 1969, the first draft lottery since 1942 was held, at Selective Service National headquarters in Washington, D.C. Website owned and maintained by Wesley Abney. The military draft brought the war to the American home front. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. The purpose of this site is to collect and share the stories of American men who were subject to the Vietnam war draft lotteries in the years 1969 through 1972. The U.S. held its first draft lottery on Dec. 1, 1969, giving young men a random number tied to their birthdays. The lotteries of the next three years were apparently fully randomized. | It was officially called the "Conscription Act" and was initiated by the Confederacy. It could have set a higher minimum grade on the Armed Forces Qualifying Test, the basic intelligence test, and still easily met military manpower needs. Of the 19 Harvard alumni who were killed, only 11 were in the age group subject to the Vietnam draft. Even though the draft was abolished in 1973, men of draft age (between 18-25 years) still have to register with the Selective Service System within 30 days of the 18th birthday so a draft can be readily resumed if needed" (Valentine). Conscription during the Korean War did not inspire the same angry, passionate protests that the draft during the Vietnam War did. Conscription during the 1960s took place under the legal authority of the peacetime draft, because the United States never formally declared war on North Vietnam. For the lottery, 366 blue plastic capsules, each containing one date of the calendar year, were dumped in a large glass container. This event determined the order of call for induction during calendar year 1970; that is, for registrants born between January 1, 1944, and December 31, 1950. Later statistical studies of the supposedly random selection process indicated that the later dates of the year received disproportionately low draft numbers, due possibly to insufficient mixing of the capsules. There are two statistics that tell a lot about who went to Vietnam and who avoided the war: Harvard College, that symbolic bastion of the American elite, had 19 alumni who died in Vietnam. The lottery of 1969 was conceived to address perceived inequities in the draft system as it existed previously, and to add more military personnel towards the Vietnam War.The war had arisen from a series of conflicts dating back to the early stages of French colonialism and Japanese occupation of Vietnam in World War II.In 1963, South Vietnamese generals seized power in Saigon in a coup. The full story of Project 100,000, as that program was known, is told in an exhaustively researched and deeply disturbing book called McNamara’s Folly, by Hamilton Gregory. This allows a draft to be activated if needed, as was used during the Vietnam War. [McCaffrey] Many men volunteered for the draft so even some of the draftees were actually volunteers. USS Enterprise The highest draft number called for induction from the 1969 lottery was 195. The military is surprisingly strict about the medical conditions of those … The next lottery, held in 1970, applied only to men born in the year 1951; the lottery of 1971 covered men born in 1952; and the final lottery in 1972 applied to men born in 1953; however, men born in 1953 were not drafted due to abolition of the draft in 1973. Selective Service could have raised standards during the Vietnam War because the draft pool, born in the Baby Boom, was so large. Lower numbers were called first. The capsules were then drawn out and opened, one by one, and assigned sequentially rising numbers. Approximately 850,000 men were affected by the 1969 draft lottery. During the Korean War, the Selective Service began the policy … Long after the war, in his book In Retrospect and elsewhere, McNamara expressed regret for his role in shaping the U.S. intervention and its military effort in Vietnam. TIME USS Constitution 2. The highest lottery number called for this group was 195; all men as… In other words, as Gregory (a Vietnam veteran himself) points out, after drafting clearly unsuitable men, the military sent them back to society permanently stigmatized for being unsuitable for conscription. The image of those who fought in Vietnam is one of poorly educated, reluctant draftees -- predominantly poor whites and minorities. Instead it lowered that requirement. During those years, the Selective Service used a lottery to determine the order in which draft age men would be called up for duty, usually in Vietnam. Until 1973, American men were drafted to fill the needs of the country’s armed forces that could not be met by volunteers. The first two variables define the birth date: M, the month (from 1 for January to 12 for December) and D, the day of the month. When the Unites States entered the Vietnam in 1964, our involvement naturally became a subject of dispute throughout the country. The draft in the United States began with the Civil War in 1863. The table below the lottery numbers, by birth date, for the US Selective Service lotteries held from 1969 to 1972 (during the Vietnam war). For those born in 1950, however, being drafted in 1970 was a very real prospect. Draft Lottery results for the Vietnam War in 1969 1969 Draft Lottery during the Vietnam War Vietnam draft lottery focused on 19 year old men December 1, 1969 was the first draft lottery held since 1942, during World War II. Korean Turtle Ships served with the Korean navy for centuries, first coming... 3. Editor’s Note: This is the second installment in a short series before the documentary series The Vietnam War (directors Ken Burns and Lynn Novick) premieres this Sunday. The highest draft number called for induction from the 1969 lottery was 195. 2/3 of the men who served in Vietnam were volunteers. (Note: 18 year olds required to register for the draft were issued “draft cards” and were required by law to carry that document with them at all time. Instead it lowered that requirement. A need for more manpower upon America’s deeper involvement in the Vietnam war in 1965, made President Johnson bring in conscription. 2,709,918 Americans served in uniform in Vietnam. This loophole was largely closed to working class … The next lottery, held in 1970, applied only to men born in the year 1951; the lottery of 1971 covered men born in 1952; and the final lottery in 1972 applied to men born in 1953; however, men born in 1953 were not drafted due to abolition of the draft in 1973. Korean Turtle Boats He is the author of Without Honor: Defeat in Vietnam and Cambodia, Vietnam Shadows: The War, Its Ghosts, and Its Legacy, and From Troubled Lands: Listening to Pakistani Americans and Afghan Americans in Post-9/11 America. For CHARTS OF ALL THE LOTTERY DRAWINGS, list of draft classifications, Vietnam troop levels year-by-year, and other information, click on the LINKS tab. The others were from earlier classes and all, with the exception of two civilians and one who volunteered as an Army chaplain, had entered military service well before the Vietnam buildup began. Volunteering to be drafted was a get-it-over-with option for men who decided not to wait to be called but chose to be inducted out of turn, without seeking reclassification or some other way to avoid serving. Origins. Vietnam has been subject to many foreign powers. Comments/Questions may be directed to Wes Abney, wabney@vietnamwardraftlottery.com. The people in charge of the Selective Services randomly choose a birth date out of a capsule, 366 capsules for all of the days in a year. 240 men were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War. Other Facts 1954 - North Vietnamese begin helping South Vietnamese rebels fight South Vietnamese troops, thus BEGINS the Vietnam conflict. Drafting more men from the bottom of the socio-economic ladder meant fewer needed to be called from the top steps, so the policy left intact the many escape routes for more privileged young men while penalizing the most disadvantaged. Vietnam Draft. In 1940 Congress passed the Selective Training and Service Act which created the first peacetime draft and established the Selective Service System as an independent federal agency. USS Enterprise in 1939. 1965-1973 Anti-Draft Movement . An estimated 70,000 American men fled to Canada to evade the draft or as deserters. If the one drafted casualty on the Harvard list took that route, it means that through the entire war period, not a single Harvard man who died was a typical — that is, involuntary — draftee. 366 blue plastic capsules contained the birthdays that would be chosen in the first Vietnam draft lottery drawing on December 1, 1969. How would YOU have done? This drawing determined the order of induction for men born between January 1, 1944 and December 31, 1950. N69gives the results of the lottery held on December 1, 1969, for men born from 1944 through 1950. On January 6, 1966, SNCC issued a statement condemning the Vietnam War, charging that, “the United States government has been deceptive in its claims of concern for the freedom of the Vietnamese people.”Many members of state and national government denounced opposition to the war as being “close to treason.” 9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the official Vietnam era from August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975. Let's look at the facts, starting with who actually served in Vietnam. Isaacs lives in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Make up a health condition. Signing up for this newsletter means you agree to our data policy, Without Honor: Defeat in Vietnam and Cambodia, Vietnam Shadows: The War, Its Ghosts, and Its Legacy, From Troubled Lands: Listening to Pakistani Americans and Afghan Americans in Post-9/11 America. The Vietnam War began in earnest in 1965 when the U.S. Congress passed the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, giving President Lyndon B. 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