Y2K finally hits: Draft notices sent to the dead

Jul 11, 2014
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Y2K finally hits: Draft notices sent to the dead

This is not a joke - it’s a computer error. What’s happened in Pennsylvania this past week will not require thousands of elderly or otherwise dead men to go to war, but it should inspire some giggles. A computer error has resulted in more than 14,000 draft sign-up reminders being sent out to men born between the years 1893 and 1897.

That’d put them men at ages 117 to 121, while if the notice were sent to those born between 1993-1997, they’d be between 17 and 21. These are the notices that suggest you need to sign up for Selective Service - the modern "Draft" - or you’ll be punished by a fine or imprisonment.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation noted this week that the error came in the transfer of nearly 400,000 records to the Selective Service. According to the Associated Press, "a clerk working with the state’s database" was responsible for failing to select a century upon entry.

When a century is not chosen, those born between 1993 and 1997 as well as those born between 1893 and 1897 are lumped into a single pile. No earlier dates were included because the nearly 400,000 records were submitted by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation from their own collection of names - this pile simply did not have a reason to go back so far.

Those who have received letters can simply ignore them. The United States Government will not be exhuming your dead grandfather or father for a war any time soon.

Those of you somehow unaware that Selective Services even exists in the first place - don’t fret. While you WILL still have to sign up, the last draft into military service was called on December 7th, 1972.

The authority to induct expired on the 30th of June, 1973. Registration as it exists today was brought back into effect in July of 1980, but no induction has been called since.


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