Selective Service/Conscription

WORLD WAR I

[From Selective Service Regulations, 1917 (see Subject File: Conscientious Objection/Objectors — Government Documents)]

* Conscientious Objectors: any registrant found by his Local Board to be a member of any well-recognized religious sect or organization organized & existing before May 18, 1917, & whose existing creed or principles forbade its members to participate in war in any form, & whose religious convictions were against war or participation therein in accordance with the creed or principles of said religious organization, were to be furnished with a certificate by said Local Board stating that he could only be required to serve in a capacity declared by the President to be noncombatant. He would, however, be classified as any other registrant was.

I Liable to military service in the order determined by the national drawing
II Temporary (dependency) discharge from draft; effective until Class I in the jurisdiction of the same Local Board was exhausted; registrants with both wife & children, or any father of  motherless children, where such wife & children were not mainly dependent upon the registrant’s labor for support; also, registrants whose wives could support themselves through employment
III Temporary (dependency) discharge from draft; effective until Classes I & II in the jurisdiction of the same Local Board was exhausted; registrants who were responsible forchildren not their own & who were dependent on registrant’s labor for support; registrants who had aged, inform or invalid parents or grandparents mainly dependent on registrants’ government employees
IV Temporary (dependency) discharge from draft; effective until Classes I, II & III in the jurisdiction of the same Local Board was exhausted; any married registrant whose wife or children were mainly dependent on registrant’s labor for support; also included mariners employed in sea service
V Exemption or discharge from draft; including:

  • ordained ministers
  • students who on May 18, 1917 had been prepared for ministry in a recognized theological or divinity school
  • persons in the military or naval service of the United States (officers & enlisted men)
  • alien enemies
  • resident aliens
  • persons found to be totally & permanently physically or mentally unfit for military service
  • persons show to have been convicted of any crime designated as treason or felony, or an “infamous” crime
  • licensed pilots actually employed in the pursuit of his vocation

 

WORLD WAR II [through 1947]

[From Selective Service Regulations. Volume Three. Classification & Selection, 1940 (see Subject File: Conscientious Objection/Objectors — Government Documents); also “Memorandum Of the Rights Of Conscientious Objectors Under the Draft Laws As Of December 1, 1942” (see Subject File: Conscientious Objection/Objectors — U.S. Sources, 1942)]
* all males between the ages of 18 & 65 were required to register for the draft; those who became 18 after January 1, 1943 were to register on their 18th birthday

I Available for service
I-A Available; fit for general military service
I-A-O Conscientious objectors eligible for military service in noncombatant role
I-B Available; fit only for limited military service
I-B-O Conscientious objectors available for limited service [not used after Aug. 18, 1942]
I-C Members of land or naval forces of the United States
I-D Students fit for general military service; available not later than July 1, 1941
I-E Students fit for limited military service; available not later than July 1, 1941
I-H Men deferred by reason of age [not in effect any more, as provision deferring men over 28 years of age had been repealed]
II Deferred because of occupational status
II-A Men necessary in their civilian activity
II-B Men necessary to national defense
II-C Men necessary to farm labor
III Deferred because of dependents
III-A Men with dependents, not engaged in work essential to national defense
III-B Men with dependents, engaged in work essential to national defense
IV Deferred specifically by law or because unfit for military service
IV-A Men who had completed service [not considered in time of war]
IV-B Officials deferred by law
IV-C Nondeclarant aliens
IV-D Ministers of religion or divinity students
IV-E Conscientious objectors available only for civilian work of national importance
IV-E-LS Conscientious objectors available for limited civilian work of national importance
IV-E-H Men formerly classified in IV-E or IV-E-LS, since deferred by reason of age
IV-F Men physically, mentally or morally unfit
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