The Pittsburgh Press (June 30, 1941)
900,000 NEW CONSCRIPTS TO BE CALLED INTO SERVICE
Washington, June 30 (UP) –
An estimated 750,000 young men of 21 will register for Selective Service tomorrow, and a large proportion of them will be inducted into the Army during coming months to help fill the 900,000-man quota set by President Roosevelt for the new fiscal year.
The 6,406 draft boards throughout the country will register tomorrow all the young men who have become 21 since the first R-Day last Oct. 16. At that time, more than 16 million men from 21 to 35, inclusive, registered for possible service.
A high percentage of the 21-year-olds will be chosen for the Army because they are in better physical condition than older men; because fewer of them have dependents who would cause deferments; and because of the anticipated policy of automatic deferment of men 28 or older.
Mr. Roosevelt, in an executive order in “the national interest” announced at Hyde Park last night, authorized the Army to induct 900,000 selectees from July 1, 1941 to June 30, 1942. This is the maximum that the law permits to be in service at any one time, and presumes that the 650,000 inducted thus far will be released as they complete their one year of training.
Chief of Staff George C. Marshall had indicated, however, that a few selectees may be retained longer in key units.
Pending in the House is a bill to put into law the new policy of automatic deferment of men who have reached their 28th birthday anniversary by July 1. It had been planned to have this enacted by tomorrow, but the crowded House schedule made action impossible until next week.
Chairman Andrew J. May (D-KY) of the House Military Affairs Committee said, however, that the bill, when finally passed, would be made retroactive to July 1, If this were not done, the deferment of 28-year-olds would not become effective until July 1, 1942.
Undecided on lottery
Officials said a lottery to determine the order in which tomorrow’s registrants will be subject to call will probably be held in about two weeks. They said the names of the new enrollees will be infused in existing registration lists rather than superimposed, but the exact method has not yet been determined.
Tomorrow’s registration system will differ only slightly from that used last October. The chief difference will be that the enrollment will be conducted by local boards and their employees. A vast army of volunteer workers conducted the last registration. Melon-colored registration cards will be issued.
Registration centers will open at 8 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. (ET).
Originally, it has been expected that about 830,000 would be subject to the new registration. But, officials said, a large number of youths who became 21 since last Oct. 16 have volunteers for one year of training, The great majority of the 16 million who registered last October have already been classified and nearly 570,000 have been inducted.
The most important step to liberalize the Selective Service system, becomes effective today, Brig. Gen. Lewis B. Hershey, deputy Selective Service director, ordered local boards to defer all draft-age married men and other registrants having one or more dependents to whose support they make “any substantial contribution.” Men in this category who have already been classified are also affected by General Hershey’s order.