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June 15, 2005

The Draft: Are you 44 or younger? Guess what... Tag. You're it.

-- by Thomas Leavitt

How'd you like to be in basic training, two weeks from now?

Don't think that your flat feet or beer belly are going to get you an exemption:

You'll have to take a physical exam, but anyone "practicing their profession in the private sector" will be automatically "considered able to do the same in a military environment, notwithstanding physical conditions which would cause rejection as a regular registrant."

Or your gender:

Congress could decide not to include women in the medical draft. But it will be hard to get enough nurses and other professionals in some of the desired specialities without drafting women. A health care workers draft will most likely include women.

Ain't that just dandy? Found this website from a pamphlet tucked into the literature rack at my local library.

See below for more "interesting" info... such as the fact that the same rationale that makes medical professionals eligible could easily be extended to other professions where expertise is scarce and the need is critical - including "computer specialists".


FAQ about Health Care Workers and the Draft
The "Health Care Personnel Delivery System" and the Medical Draft
If you think the draft is just for young men, think again. The first people to be drafted will probably be health care workers. If you're a doctor, nurse, technician, therapist, or other medical professional -- man or woman, age 20 through 44 -- and if Congress authorizes a draft, you could be in boot camp less than two weeks from today.
This leaflet explains how a medical draft is likely to work, what you can do now if you don't want to be drafted, and why we hope you'll join us in draft resistance.

[... continued at URL above ...]

Here's a comment worthy of noting, embedded in the page above:

According to one military doctor, writing in a 2004 medical journal article explaining Selective Service plans:
A physician draft is the most likely conscription into the military in the near future.... Currently, this ["special skills"] mission is only for health care personnel, but in the future it is foreseeable it may include linguists, environmental engineers, computer specialists, and other professions.

More handy dandy info:

Selective Service says it is prepared to draft people "professionally qualified" in more than 60 medical specialties [see the list on the last page of the proposed regulations], including physicians, dentists, psychologists, therapists, dietitians, technicians, nurses, veterinarians, pharmacists, opticians, "other medical care and treatment personnel", and "miscellaneous allied specialists".

There's a list of newsarticles and other relevant links at the bottom of the page... here's a sampling (demonstrates that this isn't rhetorical paranoia):

# Health Care Personnel Delivery System: Another Doctor Draft?
(Wisconsin Medical Journal, 2004; by the state surgeon of the Wisconsin Army National Guard)
# U.S. Has Contingency Plans for a Draft of Medical Workers
(The New York Times, 19 October 2004)
# Possibility Of A Military Draft Of Doctors Worries The AMA
(Wall Street Journal, 8 December 2004)

A PDF of the flyer that caught my attention, along with other printable information for our offline friends (or for distribution at mass meetings, etc.) is available here.

Posted by Thomas Leavitt at June 15, 2005 12:24 AM

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For a generation (or two) that grew up on re-runs of M*A*S*H, you wouldn't think it would be necessary to point this out!

Posted by: Thomas Ware at June 15, 2005 1:56 PM

Thanks for helping to get this out there. It scares the heck out of me.

Posted by: shrimplate at June 15, 2005 5:43 PM

So they're taking the blind, the halt, and the one-armed?

Posted by: mim at June 15, 2005 7:28 PM

Good work, Thomas. Thanks for reminding us of this danger.

Posted by: Copeland at June 15, 2005 7:41 PM

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