I have always been interested in how the Nation deals with the need for soldiers/sailors/airmen and women in Wartime. Of course there is NO declared War by Congress at the moment. Why is not the purpose of this blog.
And while the Selective Service still exists and registration at age 18 of all male citizens is required, that is not my topic of this post. Instead it is how the Military now processes CO’s. And by the way since the end of the War in Vietnam, also undeclared, the SELECTIVE SERVICE has formally modified its regulation so that CO status is no longer grounded solely in religious beliefs.
So here is and Extract from the key document DOD instruction available full text from this blogger:
SUBJECT: Conscientious Objectors
References: (a) DoD Directive 1300.6, subject as above, August 20, 1971 (hereby canceled)
(b) Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense Memorandum, “DoD Directives Review
– Phase II,” July 13, 2005
(c) DoD Directive 5124.02, “Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and
Readiness (USD(P&R)),” October 17, 2006
(d) Section 6 (j) of the Military Selective Service Act, as amended (50 United
States Code App. 456(j))
(e) through (h), see Enclosure 1
1. REISSUANCE AND PURPOSE”
This document controls those declaring CO status while on active duty. Since numbers are not publically available we have no real idea of whether this is problematic for the Armed Forces. The bottom line is that the largely Christian forces on Active Duty, and followers of Judiasm and Islam, arguably have been taught that “Thou Shalt Not Kill” and that moral recitation tracking from the 10 Commandments and those who follow religions that respect or honor Abraham of the Old Testament must be conditioned to kill in order to faithfully serve in the Armed Forces. Of course the likelihood of any given member of the Armed Forces killing an armed enemy in modern technological warfare is slim to none. So why not recognize this fact and have some cadres of CO’s that serve like the noted Ambuluance Drivers of WWI and Ernest Hemingway fame given status by joining the Armed Forces. Few in those forces actually carry weapons in any event.
My point in this post is a simple one. Congressional oversight and review of this category of enlistees and potential enlistees or draftees seems that its is long overdue. The repeal of DADT-Don’t Ask Don’t Tell-by statute seems to me to justify relooking at the statutory basis and Constitutional basis of CO status.