US Military Draft or Conscription Records
Draft or Conscription Records
Congress passed the first military conscription act in 1863 during the Civil War, allowing President Abraham Lincoln to draft men between the ages of 20 – 45. Our nation’s second military draft law, the Selective Service Act, went into effect in 1917 and gave President Woodrow Wilson the authority to conscript men for World War I.
In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Selective Training and Service Act, creating the country’s first peacetime draft and officially establishing the Selective Service System. The draft continued from 1948, during both peacetime and war, to 1973, when President Richard M. Nixon signed legislation officially ending the draft. The Selective Service registration requirement was later suspended in April 1975. However, in 1980, President James E. Carter resumed Selective Service registration in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The Selective Service System remains in place today.