Go to our ever-popular CNN.com homepage on your desktop or your mobile device, and join the party at @cnnbrk, the world's most-followed account for news. A veteran of multiple deployments himself, Prosser said he knows the importance of the S2 NCOIC down range. I had no problems humping the mountains of Afghanistan for 18 months but pounding the pavement for two miles every day killed my Achilles and I almost came up totally lame. "I said, 'OK, slow down, come in and take a seat, because you're like No. The unit was delighted to find someone with his experience. Before the lottery was implemented in the latter part of the Vietnam conflict, there was no system in place to determine order of call besides the fact that men between the ages of 18 and 26 were vulnerable to being drafted. "You could volunteer"In 1995, a neighbor convinced him the National Guard had drastically improved. "When I tell my wife it's my last assignment, she just rolls her eyes," he told Time two years ago. But then an opportunity arose that would change the course of his life. "Drug use was common, with the enemy, he believed, indirectly supplying them. But he didn't have a choice. Usually 17 or 18, but it may vary from nation to nation. At 58, he is now about to retire. "You've got to have the right guy in your intel cell. Blow is preparing to return to Iraq with the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.Senior NCOs in the brigade claim he is the Army's oldest Vietnam draftee still on active duty. As someone who has been in the service for so long, Mellinger, of course, has seen the horrors of war. I had to stop. "My Achilles tendons went out. "Intel NCOICFor the last eight months, he has served to help craft wartime intelligence operations for the brigade. "They will not let you get hurt," he said. Draft Lottery results for the Vietnam War in 1969 1969 Draft Lottery during the Vietnam War Vietnam draft lottery focused on 19 year old men December 1, 1969 was the first draft lottery held since 1942, during World War II. "Demaree said he was grateful for Blow's service during a time when he needed a steady senior NCO hand in the battalion. "Leadership today is so much better focused. The calculator, of course, does not use your birth year because many of us were born well after the Vietnam War. "With a lot of the leadership today, it's not just a job, it's a life," Blow said. My nearest brush with Vietnam was service on a funeral detail out of Fort Gordon, Ga., during my last summer, 1970. Drafted by: Lorne wood I was drafted in March 1968 out of Los Angeles, went to Fort Ord for basic training, received my mos of 11 bravo then on to Fort Lewis, Washington, for eight more weeks of inf training. As soon as his time was up, he would hang up his boots and head for the hills. Legal authority for a peacetime draft came from the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, signed by President Franklin Roosevelt in order to mobilize American civilian-soldiers in anticipation of entry into World War II. Years later, following the September 11 attacks, he would head down to ground zero to help out as part of the First Army. We never lost the big battles but we lost the war because we fought the wrong way. Rigby, a native of Auburn, New York, began his military service when he was drafted, in 1972, during the Vietnam era. His experience in the Central Highlands taught him about counterinsurgency tactics. He took it on and he ran with it. "He was in every think tank, involved in every working group," Prosser said. Mellinger never expected his life to turn out this way. "Whether it was a 20-mile foot-march, combat stress shooting or fieldcraft, he was right there leading by example. I don't know for a fact where the pipeline started, but I know where it ended. You and all of the others in the military make me so happy and proud to be an American! "I can go anywhere to any unit and do an infantry job and it's going to be pretty much the same job. And he's been doing it ever since. He got bumped and bruised, but he hung with it. This drawing determined the order of induction for men born between January 1, 1944 and December 31, 1950. Are you a professional or just very knwolgedebale? He's told reporters he personally knows between 40 and 50 people buried at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia. "Blow believed in the '70s the Army continued to focus on the last war rather than the next. Mellinger, believed to be the last of about 2 million men drafted in the Vietnam War era, is set to retire. Maj. Jeff Mellinger got a draft card in the mail at his home in Eugene, Oregon, 39 years ago, the military wasn't exactly a popular option - or one he desired. "They'll go through a battle drill perfectly, assault through an ambush, conduct an ambush, a raid, execute it perfectly over and over again in training. His time there would be much shorter than the many others who did tours in the Vietnam War. Very prevalent, very cheap. Though he did not choose to join the Army, he chose to stay. At 22 you would have had a pretty good chance of getting drafted. Looking for the freshest news from CNN? David Blow saddled up, strapped on and hurried to the fight. You can't fight an insurgent ... tactically with conventional weapons and tactics. Whether it was Vietnam, the Balkans or Afghanistan, Master Sgt. ". So on April 18, 1972, he donned a military uniform and prepared for service. "It's their calling, what they're doing because they want to. The draft determined the “order of call” for 1970 for all men of draft age, which included all men born in the years 1944 through 1950. "Leads MontagnardsHe re-enlisted to join the 75th Rangers, spending a year with a far more professional unit until it disbanded. A Vietnam veteran is someone who served in the armed forces of participating countries during the Vietnam War.. Contrary to common belief, being an only child (or an only son) does not automatically exempt you from military service in the U.S. "I was dead-set on getting out," he told Time. "Now it's on the same sheet of music," he said. The draftee with the #131 was in the Central Highlands of Vietnam by February of 1971 at his first duty station, following Basic Combat Training (BCT) and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Ft. Dix, New Jersey. Conscription during the 1960s took place under the legal authority of the peacetime draft, because the United States never formally declared war on North Vietnam. Finally, he served as an imbedded tactical trainer and leader mentor in Afghanistan from June 2005 to October 2006. Command Sgt. Now, with many achievements in the rearview mirror, Mellinger is looking to retire once and for all. "From March 2004 to March 2005 he worked with the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, then administered Forward Operating Base Mirez in Mosul, Iraq. Training the Afghans proved frustrating. At the start of the war they were drafting age, oldest to youngest which had been standard Cold War policy between Korea and Vietnam. In September 1940, Congress, by wide margins in both US President-elect Joe Biden's approach to Russia is now an even tougher challenge with news that Moscow may be res�, OneWeb, a UK-based company racing to build a constellation of satellites to beam internet service to people back on�, Milan has promoted the use of e-scooters and bikes during the pandemic, reflecting a rise in micromobility in cities, An iPhone falls from a plane with the video rolling and survives to tell the tale. "He came in here and said 'I want to go to war with this unit,'" Command Sgt. Local boards called men classified 1-A, 18-1/2 through 25 years old, oldest first. He grew up in Wichita, Kan. with parents who didn't dwell on military matters, though his father had served in the Marines. CNN's Jeanne Moos reports.�, "We should be less afraid to be afraid. "In Macedonia and Kosovo we were policemen," Blow said, "trying to keep the Muslims and Christians from killing each other. He kept up with them for months, but Lt. Col. Richard Demaree's rigorous training program finally broke down the acting command sergeant major. During the Vietnam War era, between 1964 and 1973, the U.S. military drafted 2.2 million American men out of an eligible pool of 27 million. Thanks to a new three-year commitment, he is currently undergoing his first consideration for promotion to sergeant major.More importantly to him, he also gets to return to Iraq.Blow was the "right guy" in a number of Army environments. It was an honor to fire the salute before taps, but it was heartbreaking, too. I believe this was the last group of guys to be drafted. He told officials he had a job, he didn't need a new one. That's how I went to the Balkans and Iraq and Afghanistan and all those places. "Don Kramer is a reporter with Fort Lewis' Northwest Guardian, U.S. Army STAND-TO! When Command Sgt. He went directly from 525th Replacement Company to 5th Brigade to Prosser's office.After helping the command sergeant major put out fires in the brigade headquarters, he found himself doing physical training and road marches next to his young Soldiers of 2-1 Inf. For those born in 1950, however, being drafted in 1970 was a very real prospect. That is, until now. Blow is preparing to return to Iraq with the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.Senior NCOs in the brigade claim he is the Army's oldest Vietnam draftee still on active duty. During the Korean War, the Selective Service began the policy … He finished high school in 1950. Both were lucrative, but over the years, he missed the military life. But this time, Mellinger said he really is calling it quits. "He parlayed his club management experience into a civilian career setting up restaurants across Washington and later tried his hand at mortgage lending. He said post-Vietnam training "decentralized down to battalion, maybe even company, depending on what type of unit you were in. After Iraq, he spent time in Alaska and around the rest of the country speaking to units about his experiences before going to Afghanistan as the command sergeant major for the Army Materiel Command. "I couldn't stand the peace-time Army then," Blow said. In 1952, Beilke was drafted and later shipped out to Korea. He also served 34 months in Iraq, where he was the senior ranking enlisted man. He joined a unit headquartered down the street from his Port Orchard home and found what he was looking for. Despite the ironic Vietnam-era connotation that joining the National Guard was a way to avoid the fight, Blow used the Guard as a means of finding active duty units to help him get to the action. KWTX reports he survived at least 27 roadside bombings there. When he returned to the states, he convinced Department of the Army to send him to a line unit based on his recent experience. He was the guy I needed in that position (as 2-1 Inf. They want to be here," he said. It's a very valid emotion and it's something we shouldn't shy away from. He was just 19 when he was drafted into the Army. The Army was lacking in leadership and direction. "I'm a relic," Mellinger told Time magazine in 2009. The approximate percentage of Vietnam-era veterans who are still alive in 2013 is 75. Legally, depends on the nation. Max Beilke was in the Army for 20 years already by the time he deployed to Vietnam in 1972. "Blow was re-enlisted by the brigade commander, Col. Harry D. Tunnell, on April 16. After seven months as the 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment's senior noncommissioned officer, Prosser pulled Blow back to be the NCO-in-charge of the brigade intelligence shop. This attitude is the kind of dedication Mellinger has brought to the military over the years. Sorry, it was 1972. He is the only active duty army soldier that was drafted and is still serving. People doing stupid stuff. I told him I had made a mistake, walked out and didn't go back (for 14 years). He ran with them, PT, foot marching, obstacle course. Maj. Jeff Mellinger's military service stretched from the Vietnam era to Iraq and Afghanistan. "That generation did not talk about that stuff," Blow said.His military motivations were his own.Drafted in collegeHe graduated from high school in 1969 with a scholarship to run track and cross country at Wichita State, but never did the paperwork for a student deferment from the draft.He received his notice the next year, but talked his way into enlisting for Special Forces training, barely satisfying a requirement to be 19 and winking at another to have served at least three years in the Army before acceptance.Once in SF training, he worried that there wouldn't be enough war left by the end of his training at Fort Bragg, so with nine friends, he terminated to get to Vietnam sooner.The carelessness and apathy he found in the infantry line unit he joined shocked him. "It was guys watching grenades go off and shooting each other and booby traps and dumb stuff. "I ended up hurting myself keeping up with those kids," Blow said. There he made sure to look in to many of the complaints from fellow soldiers - concerning the type and quality of equipment troops were using. "But they're even more surprised when they find out this dinosaur can still move around pretty darn quick.". "Until you get out to the end of the line if you will, or the tip of the spear, sometimes you don't get the unfiltered unvarnished truth about how things are working," he told Army News Watch. But it wouldn't be the first time he's said he was going to do so. He stayed in country, extending to join the 1st Special Forces Group, working out of Kontum in the Central Highlands, leading a hunter-killer team of Montagnard tribesmen in operations along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.His 10-man team operated across the country and out to the borders of Laos and Cambodia, creating mischief for the North Vietnamese regulars equipped with the latest Soviet and Chinese technology.He returned to the states in 1973, but the post-Vietnam Army disenchanted him. Does Being an ‘Only Son’ Exempt You from a Military Draft? "Most of them are surprised I'm still breathing, because in their minds I'm older than dirt. I'm impressed by your writing. Although only 25 percent of the military force in the combat zones were draftees, the system of conscription caused many young American men to volunteer for the armed forces in order to have more of a choice of which division in the military they would serve. And he's proud to know he's leaving behind an Army that has grown in ways unimaginable to him when he first got that draft card in the mail. Thank you for your dedication to a grateful nation. On June 30, 1973, Archie Turner was the last known person drafted into the US Army. I went there and he had a dirty, stained white T-shirt; he was fat, moustache, long hair and had a beer in his hand at 2 o'clock on a Wednesday afternoon. "He truly cared about our men and made sure that our training was realistic and was preparing us for the rigors of today's combat," Demaree said. "That was good to have as an acting battalion command sergeant major. Then when they go down to do the real thing in combat, they forget everything you taught them. "'We've got a ways to go ... We've got to build a team first. "He volunteered for every major conflict, managing a base operations staff from 2000 to 2001 in the Balkans. A 121-year-old woman living on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City took a step toward becoming the world’s oldest living person after obtaining national verification of her proof of birth. "The Peshmerga did the same thing in Iraq. They're totally brave. "If your unit wasn't going to war you could volunteer and go to war. 9 (in the brigade),'" Prosser said. Div. FORT LEWIS, Wash. - No matter how often his country called, one old Soldier never could resist marching to the sound of guns. "The leadership in those days wasn't very good. Chief Warrant Officer 5 Ralph Rigby, 62, has served for 42 years, according to information from the 2nd Infantry Division. However, the U.S. does have provisions that allow for those up to the age of 54 years of age to be drafted if they have certain needed skills or experience. Get the Soldiers high and then we had discipline problems. Sore knees and torn tendons didn't slow down the 57-year-old infantryman. Conscription in the United States, commonly known as the draft, has been employed by the federal government of the United States in six conflicts: the American Revolutionary War, the American Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.The fourth incarnation of the draft came into being in 1940 through the Selective Training and Service Act. "Back then it was a lot of people wanted to be there but it seemed like a lot of the people were doing it because their dad was a Soldier, a career Soldier, and they were doing it because it was a job. "Among the many differences between the Army now, Blow believes is in training. His last day in Vietnam was the U.S. military's last day in Viet… It was a far cry, he said, from the Army of today. Not just three or four guys, but up to a platoon protecting me. 'I want to go to war with this unit'He had barely returned from Afghanistan in October 2006 when he marched into the office of a former colleague to ask for a job. Men between the ages of 18 and 25, inclusive, must register for the draft. -- We receive frequent inquiries as to the classes of persons who are exempt by law from the operation of the military draft. We kept looking for the big battles. One does not have to be a citizen in order to register. He made it to Fort Lewis with the 9th Infantry Division, where he became a club manager of the 1-2-3 Club on North Fort.He left when his active duty enlistment ended in 1981, intending to join the National Guard. "The Army of today is far better than it has ever been," he told Time. On November 11, 1942, Congress approves lowering the draft age to 18 and raising the upper limit to age 37. '"Prosser put Blow to work, first on the brigade staff helping to generate the organization, then sending him to a subordinate infantry battalion as the acting command sergeant major until the official one arrived. headquarters building only the day before and had barely begun the process of manning and equipping the Army's newest Stryker brigade. Both the wedding and the draft notice. "With 18 years of active duty, Blow re-enlisted in April to make it to 20 under the Guard's "sanctuary program," which guarantees retention to retirement. Prosser had signed for the 5th Bde., 2nd Inf. On December 1, 1969, the first draft lottery since 1942 was held, at Selective Service National headquarters in Washington, D.C. "I purposely put him in that intel position because he's been there," Prosser said. By his own admission, because of concerns about how the Army was working, he was looking forward to completing two years of service. Mellinger, believed to be the last of about 2 million men drafted in the Vietnam War era, is set to retire. "I found out you can pick and choose your wars," Blow said. "This is my sixth 'last assignment.' Despite all of the frustrations, turmoil, and stress associated with generating a new unit while simultaneously preparing it for combat as a Stryker battalion, he was always the 'glass-is-more-than-half-full' person in the room," he said. On Tuesday (July 22) the Vietnam Book of Records (Vietkings) granted a certificate recognizing Nguyen Thi Tru, born on May 4, 1893, as the oldest living person in Vietnam. He spoke soon afterward about today's Army, but in terms that seemed to apply to himself. B: John William Baber War: World War, 1939-1945 Branch: Army Air Forces/Corps Service Location: European Theater Theme: First, Serve: Athletes in Uniform Joe Baca War: Vietnam War, 1961-1975 Branch: Army Service Location: United States; Vietnam Theme: Patriotism Theme: Voices of War John Philip Baca War: Vietnam War, 1961-1975 Branch: Army Service Location: Phuoc Long Province, Vietnam "Back to Fort LewisWhile in Afghanistan, Blow passed 18 years of active duty, qualifying him for the sanctuary program to qualify for a 20-year retirement. He liked sports, but mostly “he liked being home on the farm with mom and dad,” his sister said. As of 2017, women are not required to register for the draft. It ended up in the hands of GIs. "I'm a relic," Mellinger told Time magazine in 2009. While in the service, he's held positions ranging from a machine gun squad leader and drill sergeant master to a parachute tester. If we got in a fight, I never got to shoot my rifle, they would surround me. "Tries civilian lifeHe returned to the Ranger battalion, spending a lot of time, he said, on tarmacs waiting for calls that didn't come. I served with the 25th inf division in Cu Chi and Tay Ninh. Maj. Robert Prosser said. This blog – This Just In – will no longer be updated. Post-WWII through Vietnam Era Selective Service Records: The National Archives - St. Louis maintains Selective Service Records for this time period for all men born before 1960. Hi Mr. History, I’m writing a book about World War 2 from the point of view of women in WV. Maj. Jeffrey Mellinger has been in the Army for 39 years. Mellinger was offered a spot in the coveted Army Rangers, according to the military. "Drugs were a very good weapon that the Communists used against us. Clyde Green, 60, is perhaps the last human link to those days. Please note: Men born from March 29, 1957 - December 31, 1959 were not required to register with Selective Service because the registration program was suspended when they would have reached age 18. 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