What Are the Pros and Cons of Reinstating the Military Draft?

Reinstating the draft, the process of conscripting soldiers from the civilian population, would have both positive and negative aspects, the benefit being guaranteed manpower assembled with minimal notice. The cons of reinstating the draft include the questionable fitness of the average citizen for battle, and the male-only nature of the draft as it exists, which discriminates against viable female combatants, according to How Stuff Works.

In peacetime, the United States military maintains a network of armed forces with approximately 1.4 million volunteer members. The draft is made possible by the Selective Service, an initiative created in 1940 at

the dawn of World War II in an effort to ensure that America had an adequate network of soldiers to respond to a major conflict. Conscription faced heavy scrutiny and criticism during the controversial Vietnam War, and 1972 saw the last drafted soldiers enter the U.S. Army.

However, all male American citizens between the ages of 18 to 25 still are required to register with the Selective Service to keep the draft as a viable contingency plan. The last ranked soldier to be drafted into the military was Sgt. Major Jeff Mellinger, who was drafted in April 1972 and later re-enlisted with the hopes of becoming an Army Ranger, according to Time. Mellinger went on to execute 3,700 parachute jumps before his retirement in 2011.