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Selective Service System

National Headquarters, Arlington, VA 22209-2425


National Headquarters—Arlington, VA

National Headquarters—Arlington, VA
DIRECTORDonald M. Benton
Deputy DirectorJohn P. Prigmore

FinancialRoderick R. Hubbard
Information SecurityAnthony Clark

Chief of StaffWadi A. Yakhour
General CounselRudy G. Sanchez, Jr.
Information TechnologyAnthony Clark
OperationsCraig T. Brown
Public and Intergovernmental AffairsMatthew H. Tittmann
Support ServicesRoderick R. Hubbard

Data Management Center—Palatine, IL

Data Management Center—Palatine, IL
ManagerNicole F. Harris

Regional Headquarters

Regional Headquarters
Region I—North Chicago, ILThomas J. Kenney
Region II—Marietta, GACarlos M. Perez
Region III—Denver, COJohn J. Wilber

The Selective Service System supplies the Armed Forces with manpower in an emergency and operates an Alternative Service Program for men classified as conscientious objectors.


On June 24, President Harry Truman approved the Selective Service Act of 1948, which established the Selective Service System.

The SSS is an independent agency within the executive branch. The President appoints the Director, who is directly responsible to the President. The agency is not part of the Department of Defense. The agency's statement of organization is found in the Code of Federal Regulations (32 CFR 1605).

By the enactment of a later amendment, the original Act became known as the Military Selective Service Act (50 U.S.C. 3801 et seq.). It requires the registration of male U.S. citizens and other male persons who are in the United States. The Act exempts members of the active Armed Forces and nonimmigrant aliens.

From 1948 until 1973, men were drafted to fill Armed Forces vacancies that could not be filled through voluntary means. When the authority of induction expired in 1973, the SSS continued and maintained readiness to support the all-volunteer force in case an emergency should require Congress to authorize a resumption of inductions. Registration was suspended early in 1975, and the SSS assumed a standby posture. Beginning in late 1979, efforts were made to upgrade the System's capability for rapid mobilization in an emergency. In the summer of 1980, the registration requirement was reinstated.

Proclamation 4771 of July 20, 1980 (45 FR 45247), requires, unless exempted by the Military Selective Service Act, male citizens and other males residing in the country born on or after January 1, 1960, and who have attained age 18, but have not attained age 26, to register. A young man may register at a post office within the United States and at a U.S. Embassy or consulate outside the United States. Today, registering online at the SSS's website is also possible.


The Selective Service System (SSS) is a proven way to expand the U.S. Armed Forces in a national emergency. The SSS operates at low cost; it ensures that a future draft will be fair and equitable; and it can respond to the Nation’s needs for manpower in a timely manner. Registration is the only mission component that is publicly visible during peacetime; however, readiness to respond is crucial. It fosters timeliness, fairness, and the equity that is expected of the agency if it is directed to reestablish conscription.

The Military Selective Service Act imposes liability for training and service in the Armed Forces upon registrants who are ages 18–26, except those who are exempt or deferred. Persons who have been deferred remain liable for training and service until age 35. Aliens are not liable for training and service until they have remained in the United States for more than 1 year. Conscientious objectors who are opposed to all service in the Armed Forces are required to perform civilian work in lieu of induction into the Armed Forces.


The SSS maintains readiness to manage a conscription program for the U.S. Armed Forces if authorized by Congress and directed by the President. The agency must be ready to execute a national draft lottery, to issue induction orders to those registrants who are selected through the lottery, and to arrange transportation to relocate them to a military entrance processing station for testing and evaluation before induction into military service. The agency also must maintain the ability to operate an alternative service program for the men who request and are granted conscientious objector status.

Three regional headquarters keep the agency connected with its hundreds of part-time employees and thousands of volunteers throughout the country and U.S. Territories. The regional headquarters maintain the SSS's readiness at the grassroots level. They manage the activities of the agency’s 56 State directors; conduct training for them, regional field offices, and civilian board members; and ensure that the local and district appeals boards have sufficient numbers of people serving on them. They also directly support the agency’s goal of increasing registration compliance through local registration awareness programs.

The board member program relies on uncompensated civilian volunteers who serve as local, district, and national appeals board members. The SSS trains board members to prepare them for adjudicating claims filed by registrants seeking postponements, exemptions, and deferments in accordance with the Military Selective Service Act, the Code of Federal Regulations, and other policies and procedures. Readiness training, operational planning, and policies for the agency are continually updated to reflect changes that may be occurring in real-time.


Registration is a critical component of readiness. The agency is responsible for providing trained and untrained manpower to the Department of Defense in the event of a national emergency. If conscription becomes necessary, the maximum number of eligible men must be registered to assure the public of a fair and equitable lottery and induction process. By registering, male citizens comply with Federal law and remain eligible for student financial aid, job training, and Government employment opportunities. Immigrant men protect their eligibility for U.S. citizenship by being registered.

Data Management Center employees process registrations and operate the agency’s database system. If directed by Congress and the President, the SSS's registration database would be used to facilitate the induction of men into the U.S. Armed Forces. The agency’s database is constantly maintained to ensure accuracy, accessibility, and network security.

Sources of Information

Alternative Service

The "Alternative Service Program" brochure is available online.

Annual Reports

The SSS posts it annual reports to the U.S. Congress online.

Career Opportunities

The Selective Service System offers competitive wages, the Thrift Savings Plan with matching funds, health care benefits, paid vacation time, and work-life benefit options that include telework, as well as alternate and flexible work schedules for most positions.

In 2018, the SSS ranked 26th among 29 small agencies in the Partnership for Public Service's Best Places To Work Agency Rankings.

Contact Information

The SSS posts helpful email addresses and phone numbers for contacting the agency. | Email:

Facts / Figures

Quick facts and figures are available online.


Frequently requested forms are available online.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Enacted in 1966, the FOIA took effect on July 4, 1967. The law gives a right to obtain access to Federal agency records to any person, except a fugitive from the law. Some records, or portions of them, are, however, shielded from disclosure by one or more of nine statutory exemptions or by specific harm that disclosure may cause.

The electronic reading room contains documents that the SSS has posted proactively. Before making a FOIA request, search the electronic reading room for relevant records that may be accessible without a formal FOIA request.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The SSS posts answers to FAQs.


The SSS posts its quarterly newsletter "The Register" online.

Noncitizens / Dual Nationals

U.S. noncitizens and dual nationals are required by law to register with the SSS. More information is available on the "Non-Citizens and Dual Nationals" web page.

Performance / Accountability

The agency's performance and accountability reports are available online.

Plain Language

The Selective Service System adheres to Federal plain language guidelines. If a document or web page contains poorly written prose or is difficult to understand, contact the agency by email. | Email:


Men, age 18–25, with a valid social security number, may register online using an electronic form. A fillable registration form that can be returned by mail is also available for immigrant males (documented or undocumented), for men who cannot use the online registration form because of a faulty social security number, and for men without a social security number.

Registration resources that have been adapted for various audiences and made suitable for blogs, websites, and electronic and print newsletters, are available on the agency's website.

Return to the Draft

Learn how the SSS would conduct a return to the draft.

Social Media

The SSS has a Facebook account.

The SSS tweets announcements and other newsworthy items on Twitter.

The SSS posts videos on its YouTube channel.


Women are not required to register with the SSS. To learn the reasons for their exemption, visit the "Women and the Draft" web page.

The Sources of Information were updated 7–2019.