“Measures for Raising of Military Forces, as Agreed Upon by Congress,” from the May 17, 1917, issue of the High Point Review
Male Citizens and Those Who Have Declared Their Intention to Become Citizens, of That Age, Liable to Draft….Classes The Are Excused
Washington—The selective draft under which the new United States army will be raised will be applied under the following provisions of the army bill:
“That the enlisted men required to raise and maintain the organizations of the regular army and to complete and maintain the organizations embodying the members of the National Guard drafted into the service of the United States, at the maximum legal strength as by this act provided, shall be raised by voluntary enlistment, or if and whenever the president decides that they cannot effectually be so raised or maintained, then by selective draft; and all other forces hereby authorized shall be raised and maintained by selective draft exclusively; but this provision shall not prevent the transfer to any force of training cadres from other forces.
Age Limits Are Fixed
“Such draft as herein provided shall be based upon liability to military service of all male citizens or mail persons not alien enemies who have declared their intention to become citizens, between the ages of 21 and 30 years, both inclusive, and shall take place and be maintained under such regulations as the president may prescribe not inconsistent with the terms of this act.
“Quotas for the several states, territories and the District of Columbia, or subdivisions thereof, shall be determined in proportion to the population thereof and credit shall be given to any state, territory, district, or subdivision thereof for the number of men who were in the military service of the United States as members of the National Guard on April 1, 1917, or who have since said date entered the military service of the United States from any such state, territory, district, or subdivision, either as members of the regular army or the National Guard.
Provides for Military Law
“All persons drafted into the service of the United States and all officers herein provided for shall, from the date of said draft or acceptance, be subject to the laws and regulations governing the regular army, except as to promotions, so far as such laws and regulations are applicable to persons whose permanent retention in the military service on the active or retired list is not contemplated by existing law, and those drafted shall be required to serve for the period of the existing emergency unless sooner discharged, provided that the president is authorized to raise and maintain by voluntary enlistment or draft, as herein provided, special and technical troops, as he may deem necessary, and to employ them into organizations and to officer them as provided in the third paragraph of section 1 and section 9 of this act.
“Organizations of the force herein provided for, except the regular army, shall, as far as the interests of the service permit, be composed of men who come, and of officers who are appointed from, the state or locality.”
No person liable to military service will be permitted to escape therefrom by furnishing a substitute or the payment of money, and the payment of bounties for recruits is prohibited.
Men Who Are Exempt
The persons who will be exempted from military service are thus designated by the provision of the bill:
“That the vice president of the United States, the officers, legislative, executive, and judicial, of the United States and of the several states, territories, and the District of Columbia, regular or duly ordained ministers of religion, students who at the time of the approval of this act are preparing for the ministry in recognized theological or divinity schools, and all persons in the naval service of the United States shall be exempt from the selective draft herein prescribed.
“Nothing in this act contained shall be construed to require or compel another person to serve in any of the forces herein provided for who is found to be a member of any well-recognized religious sect or organization at present organized and existing and whose existing creed or principles forbid its members to participate in war in any form and whose religious convictions are against war or participation therein in accordance with the creed or principles of said religious organization; but no person so exempted shall be exempted from service in any capacity that the president shall declare to be noncombatant.
Certain Classes to Be Excused
“The president is hereby authorized to exclude or discharge from said selective service draft and from the draft under the second paragraph of section 1 hereof, or to draft from partial military service only from those liable to draft as in this act provided, persons of the following classes: county and municipal officers, customhouse clerks, persons employed by the United States in the transmission of the mails, artificers and workmen employed in the armories, arsenals and navy yards of the United States, and such persons employed in the service of the United States as the president may designate; pilots, mariners actually employed in the sea service of any citizen or merchant within the United States; persons engaged in industries, including agriculture, found to be necessary to the maintenance of the military establishment or the effective operation of the military forces or the maintenance of national interest during the emergency; those in the status with respect to persons dependent upon them for support which renders their inclusion or discharge advisable; and those found to be physically or morally deficient.”
[Who determine who is exempt? Each county will establish a draft board, one for approximately each 30,000 of population in a city, according to the census. Boards shall have three or more members, none of whom shall be connected with the military establishment, to be chosen by local authorities. A district board will be appointed for appeals, and its findings will be final. All men between the ages of 21 and 30 must register and may be imprisoned for a year if they fail to register. Those temporarily absent from their legal residence may register by mail.
Provisions for Volunteers
The provisions governing voluntary enlistment in the regular army and National Guard follow:
That the qualifications and conditions for voluntary enlistment as herein provided shall be the same as those prescribed by existing law for enlistments in the regular army, except that recruits must be between the ages of 18 and 40, both inclusive, at the time of their enlistment, and such enlistment shall be for the period of the emergency unless sooner discharged.
Provision for Increased Pay
The army pay increases are set forth in the following provisions:
“That all officers and enlisted men of the forces herein provided for other than the regular army shall be in all respects on the same footing as to pay, allowances, and pensions as officers and enlisted men of corresponding grades and length of service in the regular army; and commencing June 1, 1917, and continuing until the termination of the emergency, all enlisted men of the army of the United States in active service whose base pay does not exceed $24, an increase of $8 per month; those whose base pay is $30, $36, or $40, an increase of $6 per month; and those whose base pay is $45 or more, an increase of $5 per month.