2 Replies Latest reply on Jan 31, 2022 2:22 PM by Alex Vernon

    Seeking pre-lottery draft dates for state/local board call-ups

    Alex Vernon Newbie

      For an individual who was drafted in the summer of 1968, with a known induction date/place and local registration board #, but without a copy of the actual letter, is it possible to reconstruct when his local board would have sent him the letter?  We know the general process: (1) Secretary of Defense makes a manpower order; (2) Director of Selective Service issues orders to certain states; and (3) State Selective Service apportions to local boards. Of course personal records were destroyed in the 1970s, although I have what records can be requested (draft card; classification log from local board). Still, it seems to me that one ought to be able to reconstruct the date of the above events to figure out when the letter ordering him to report for induction would have been sent. Any ideas for that reconstruction?  The state in question in Minnesota and its archivists have yet to respond. I am looking at the greetings letters that people have posted online, it looks like most were sent about 3 weeks prior to induction. But I don't know that I can rely on such a catch-as-catch-can method. Thanks in advance.

        • Re: Seeking pre-lottery draft dates for state/local board call-ups
          Rachael Salyer Ranger

          Dear Mr. Vernon,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          Selective Service records for individuals who served after World War I and were born before 1960 are in the custody of the National Archives at St. Louis (RL-SL). There are two types of records: cards and classification histories. The individual Draft Registration Card (SSS Form 1) may contain information such as: name, Selective Service registration number, age, date and place of birth, ethnicity, place of residence at time of registration and basic physical description. The Classification History (SSS Form 102) may contain: name; date of birth; classification and date of mailing notice; date of appeal to the board; date and results of armed forces physical examination; entry into active duty or civilian work in lieu of induction (may include date, branch of service entered and mode of entry, such as enlisted or ordered); date of separation from active duty or civilian work; and general remarks. Please complete a Form NA-13172 to request a search of these records and email it to RL-SL at stl.archives@nara.gov.


          For men who registered for the draft before 1976, all other individual draftee files besides the cards and classification histories were destroyed by the Selective Service System in 1978, in accordance with approved records retention schedules. Physical examination and test results, medical letters, laboratory work, and other medical documentation that may have been included in these files no longer exist.


          Due to the continued impact of COVID-19, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgment as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RL-SL.  We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience as we balance mission-critical work and the safety of our staff during the pandemic. Please check NARA’s web page about COVID-19 updates for the latest information.


          More information about the History and Records of the Selective Service System is available on the Selective Service System website. In addition, the Minnesota Historical Society provides a guide to their records related to the Vietnam War & Minnesota on their website. If you have not done so already, you may wish to contact them directly for further assistance. 


          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!


            • Re: Seeking pre-lottery draft dates for state/local board call-ups
              Alex Vernon Newbie

              Thank you, Rachel!


              Yes, I have the registration card and classification history from NARA. So I know the date he was classified as 1A and the date he was inducted. I am looking for the date he was sent the "Greeting" letter--obviously sometime between those two dates! The letter is long gone, so the best I can do is try to reconstruct the process that produced the letter. That's what my initial post was about.


              And right about the COVID: It took over 12 months for me to receive the requested documents.


              Neither the Selective Service Administration nor the Minnesota Archives have responded to me. I'll keep trying.