In January 2020, as many young people started to worry about the potential of a third world war in the wake of a U.S. drone strike that killed Iran Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a text message started making its way around claiming the U.S. Army was re-starting the military draft.
The text message, which was ostensibly sent by the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion, informed recipients they had been selected for the draft, and that they should visit their nearest military branch as soon as possible:
U.S. Army Recruiting Command put out a statement on Jan. 7, 2020, explaining that these text messages were fraudulent.
A number of fraudulent text messages informing individuals they have been selected for a military draft have circulated throughout the country this week.
U.S. Army Recruiting Command has received multiple calls and emails about these fake text messages and wants to ensure Americans understand these texts are false and were not initiated by this command or the U.S. Army.
The draft has not been in effect since 1973. The military has been an all-volunteer force since that time. Registering for the Selective Service does not enlist a person into the military.
The U.S. Army Command and General Staff College wrote on Twitter that “The U.S. Army is NOT contacting anyone regarding the draft.”
Fact check: The U.S. Army is NOT contacting anyone regarding the draft. If you are receiving texts, phone calls or direct messages about a military draft, they are not official communications from the U.S. Army pic.twitter.com/3S32De8ekP
— U.S. Army CGSC (@USACGSC) January 8, 2020
Searches for terms such as “draft age” spiked on Google after Soleimani’s death on Jan. 3, 2020. This trepidation provided a ripe opportunity for “satirist” and hoaxers to push out misinformation. The Selective Service, the agency that would be responsible for conducting a new draft, put out a statement on Twitter saying no military draft would occur unless the Congress and U.S. president passed legislation:
The Selective Service System is conducting business as usual. In the event that a national emergency necessitates a draft, Congress and the President would need to pass official legislation to authorize a draft. pic.twitter.com/M4tY2dLoX1
— Selective Service (@SSS_gov) January 3, 2020