Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) director Dan McFadden yesterday participated in a telephone conference call with the Selective Service System. The Selective Service System hosted the call to update participants about Alternative Service plans in the event that a military draft is ever called for by the US Congress.
The call was hosted by Cassandra Costley, manager of the Alternative Service
Program for SSS.
At this point the SSS does not anticipate a draft, McFadden said. The
Selective Service office hosts calls such as this a couple of times a year to
stay in touch with the various groups that have interest in Alternative Service
options in the event of a draft.
During the call, Costley announced that another memorandum of understanding
with the SSS has been signed by the Church of God in Christ Mennonite. This is
the eleventh group or denomination to sign an MOU. The Church of the Brethren
signed an MOU with Selective Service in June 2010.
Yesterday’s call focused on becoming an alternative service employer. In the
event of a draft the SSS will look to faith groups such as the Church of the
Brethren and BVS to host alternative service workers for two-year placements.
During the Korea and Vietnam wars BVS hosted alternative service workers and
would do so again.
McFadden asked about the numbers Selective Service anticipates during any
given year. Based on a 1984 study, Costley reported an estimated 30,000 young
men a year would be looking for alternative service placements in the event of a
military draft. She added that it is possible the numbers might have doubled
BVS also participates in a conference call twice a year with Anabaptist
groups and the Center on Conscience and War to stay in contact in the event that
there is a draft.