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He joined a unit headquartered down the street from his Port Orchard home and found what he was looking for. At 22 you would have had a pretty good chance of getting drafted. "With a lot of the leadership today, it's not just a job, it's a life," Blow said. Maj. Robert Prosser said. This blog – This Just In – will no longer be updated. senior NCO). 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. Looking for the freshest news from CNN? 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. David Blow saddled up, strapped on and hurried to the fight. And he's been doing it ever since. I believe this was the last group of guys to be drafted. I don't know for a fact where the pipeline started, but I know where it ended. headquarters building only the day before and had barely begun the process of manning and equipping the Army's newest Stryker brigade. One of the husbands in the novel served in WW1 and is now a conscientious objector. KWTX reports he survived at least 27 roadside bombings there. "Leads MontagnardsHe re-enlisted to join the 75th Rangers, spending a year with a far more professional unit until it disbanded. 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. Maj. Jeffrey Mellinger has been in the Army for 39 years. We never lost the big battles but we lost the war because we fought the wrong way. At the time I was drafted in 1968 the lottery had not started yet, and I do not know that much about it. In 1952, Beilke was drafted and later shipped out to Korea. As someone who has been in the service for so long, Mellinger, of course, has seen the horrors of war. 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. Finally, he served as an imbedded tactical trainer and leader mentor in Afghanistan from June 2005 to October 2006. One does not have to be a citizen in order to register. A Vietnam veteran is someone who served in the armed forces of participating countries during the Vietnam War.. When he returned to the states, he convinced Department of the Army to send him to a line unit based on his recent experience. If we got in a fight, I never got to shoot my rifle, they would surround me. My nearest brush with Vietnam was service on a funeral detail out of Fort Gordon, Ga., during my last summer, 1970. The Army ended the draft in 1973 and at least one other draftee is still on active duty. It's a very valid emotion and it's something we shouldn't shy away from. For those born in 1950, however, being drafted in 1970 was a very real prospect. "I found out you can pick and choose your wars," Blow said. I told him I had made a mistake, walked out and didn't go back (for 14 years). "Whether it was a 20-mile foot-march, combat stress shooting or fieldcraft, he was right there leading by example. "I spent 30 days with that unit and watched 33 guys get killed or wounded with only one enemy round being fired at us and that sniper missed," he said. "I ended up hurting myself keeping up with those kids," Blow said. 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. "He parlayed his club management experience into a civilian career setting up restaurants across Washington and later tried his hand at mortgage lending. Mellinger, believed to be the last of about 2 million men drafted in the Vietnam War era, is set to retire. On June 30, 1973, Archie Turner was the last known person drafted into the US Army. "The day I got out I went to the Guard and said I wanted to join. "'We've got a ways to go ... We've got to build a team first. His time there would be much shorter than the many others who did tours in the Vietnam War. "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. FORT LEWIS, Wash. - No matter how often his country called, one old Soldier never could resist marching to the sound of guns. "You could volunteer"In 1995, a neighbor convinced him the National Guard had drastically improved. Sorry, it was 1972. "Drugs were a very good weapon that the Communists used against us. Contrary to common belief, being an only child (or an only son) does not automatically exempt you from military service in the U.S. "We never did learn our lesson in Vietnam. His last day in Vietnam was the U.S. military's last day in Viet… "He came in here and said 'I want to go to war with this unit,'" Command Sgt. Not just three or four guys, but up to a platoon protecting me. 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. 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. 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. 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. "I'm a relic," Mellinger told Time magazine in 2009. He was the guy I needed in that position (as 2-1 Inf. 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. He spoke soon afterward about today's Army, but in terms that seemed to apply to himself. '"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. The highest number drafted in this group of men was 195. "He volunteered for every major conflict, managing a base operations staff from 2000 to 2001 in the Balkans. ". Mellinger, believed to be the last of about 2 million men drafted in the Vietnam War era, is set to retire. The calculator, of course, does not use your birth year because many of us were born well after the Vietnam War. "Intel NCOICFor the last eight months, he has served to help craft wartime intelligence operations for the brigade. 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. "That was good to have as an acting battalion command sergeant major. Thank you for your dedication to a grateful nation. "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. "When I tell my wife it's my last assignment, she just rolls her eyes," he told Time two years ago. He said post-Vietnam training "decentralized down to battalion, maybe even company, depending on what type of unit you were in. Now, with many achievements in the rearview mirror, Mellinger is looking to retire once and for all. "My Achilles tendons went out. Very prevalent, very cheap. This attitude is the kind of dedication Mellinger has brought to the military over the years. He grew up in Wichita, Kan. with parents who didn't dwell on military matters, though his father had served in the Marines. A veteran of multiple deployments himself, Prosser said he knows the importance of the S2 NCOIC down range. Usually 17 or 18, but it may vary from nation to nation. Max Beilke was in the Army for 20 years already by the time he deployed to Vietnam in 1972. The Army was lacking in leadership and direction. 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. 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. 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. "Blow was re-enlisted by the brigade commander, Col. Harry D. Tunnell, on April 16. It's the patriotic thing to do. 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. "In Macedonia and Kosovo we were policemen," Blow said, "trying to keep the Muslims and Christians from killing each other. You can't fight an insurgent ... tactically with conventional weapons and tactics. "The leadership in those days wasn't very good. Command Sgt. He finished high school in 1950. "But they're even more surprised when they find out this dinosaur can still move around pretty darn quick.". But then an opportunity arose that would change the course of his life. At 58, he is now about to retire. He also served 34 months in Iraq, where he was the senior ranking enlisted man. So on April 18, 1972, he donned a military uniform and prepared for service. 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. 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. 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. Rigby, a native of Auburn, New York, began his military service when he was drafted, in 1972, during the Vietnam era. "It was guys watching grenades go off and shooting each other and booby traps and dumb stuff. 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. Mellinger first was an office clerk in what was then West Germany, according to CNN affiliate KWTX-TV. "Demaree said he was grateful for Blow's service during a time when he needed a steady senior NCO hand in the battalion. I was told to go to Puyallup to talk to sergeant so and so. He told officials he had a job, he didn't need a new one. But he didn't have a choice. But it wouldn't be the first time he's said he was going to do so. 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. Years later, following the September 11 attacks, he would head down to ground zero to help out as part of the First Army. It was a far cry, he said, from the Army of today. 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. 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. It ended up in the hands of GIs. The accolades for the man known as "All Army" appear never-ending. "Drug use was common, with the enemy, he believed, indirectly supplying them. Over the course of his career, Mellinger would log at least "33 hours of accumulated freefall in more than 3,700 jumps," according to the Army. The unit was delighted to find someone with his experience. They're totally brave. Legally, depends on the nation. That's how I went to the Balkans and Iraq and Afghanistan and all those places. They want to be here," he said. Both the wedding and the draft notice. He kept up with them for months, but Lt. Col. Richard Demaree's rigorous training program finally broke down the acting command sergeant major. It was an honor to fire the salute before taps, but it was heartbreaking, too. He is the only active duty army soldier that was drafted and is still serving. When Command Sgt. "This is my sixth 'last assignment.' But this time, Mellinger said he really is calling it quits. Both were lucrative, but over the years, he missed the military life. Mellinger was offered a spot in the coveted Army Rangers, according to the military. As of 2017, women are not required to register for the draft. After being drafted during the Vietnam era, he continued on in the military. I'm impressed by your writing. They just run to the sound of guns, shooting, not aiming. "He found his fellow warriors extremely loyal, despite the lack of discipline in other areas. Maj. Jeff Mellinger's military service stretched from the Vietnam era to Iraq and Afghanistan. Your bravery and compassion are outstanding and I wish you all the luck in the world! "Now it's on the same sheet of music," he said. "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. "I'm a relic," Mellinger told Time magazine in 2009. Does Being an ‘Only Son’ Exempt You from a Military Draft? "Blow believed in the '70s the Army continued to focus on the last war rather than the next. Thank you so much for your service! On December 1, 1969, the first draft lottery since 1942 was held, at Selective Service National headquarters in Washington, D.C. "Today things are very different. "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. Whether it was Vietnam, the Balkans or Afghanistan, Master Sgt. Prosser had signed for the 5th Bde., 2nd Inf. You and all of the others in the military make me so happy and proud to be an American! "From March 2004 to March 2005 he worked with the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, then administered Forward Operating Base Mirez in Mosul, Iraq. "It's their calling, what they're doing because they want to. This drawing determined the order of induction for men born between January 1, 1944 and December 31, 1950. 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. Arrived in Vietnam Aug 1968. Then when they go down to do the real thing in combat, they forget everything you taught them. 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. We kept looking for the big battles. "I said, 'OK, slow down, come in and take a seat, because you're like No. Though he did not choose to join the Army, he chose to stay. 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