Selective Service Expands CO Status
In the first substantive act in 25 years related to the draft, the Selective Service has signed an Alternative Service Employer Network agreement with the Mennonite Voluntary Service. The agreement entitles the MVS to be an officially recognized employer for persons making a claim for conscientious objector status; those applicants would be offered “alternative service” in a civilian support role, as opposed to a non-combat military role other COs receive.
The Army article has an interesting history of the CO status in the military, and includes a short write up on Thomas W. Bennett and Joseph Guy LaPointe Jr.. They were COs who received posthumous Medals of Honor in the Vietnam War, preceded only by WWII CO and Medal of Honor recipient Desmond Doss.
The article notes
According to the Selective Service website…beliefs which qualify a registrant for conscientious objector status may be religious in nature, but don’t have to be. Beliefs may be moral or ethical; however, a man’s reasons for not wanting to participate in a war must not be based on politics, expediency, or self-interest. In general, the man’s lifestyle prior to making his claim must reflect his current claims.
And for those on word patrol, the choice of gender-specific terms in this article is likely intentional; women are not required to register with the Selective Service.