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. At 22 you would have had a pretty good chance of getting drafted. 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. Very prevalent, very cheap. "'We've got a ways to go ... We've got to build a team first. "Don Kramer is a reporter with Fort Lewis' Northwest Guardian, U.S. Army STAND-TO! While in the service, he's held positions ranging from a machine gun squad leader and drill sergeant master to a parachute tester. His time there would be much shorter than the many others who did tours in the Vietnam War. "Now it's on the same sheet of music," he said. "Blow was re-enlisted by the brigade commander, Col. Harry D. Tunnell, on April 16. Div. This drawing determined the order of induction for men born between January 1, 1944 and December 31, 1950. Then when they go down to do the real thing in combat, they forget everything you taught them. "He came in here and said 'I want to go to war with this unit,'" Command Sgt. "The Army of today is far better than it has ever been," he told Time. '"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. Now, with many achievements in the rearview mirror, Mellinger is looking to retire once and for all. Maj. Jeffrey Mellinger has been in the Army for 39 years. Mellinger, believed to be the last of about 2 million men drafted in the Vietnam War era, is set to retire. 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. "But they're even more surprised when they find out this dinosaur can still move around pretty darn quick.". I believe this was the last group of guys to be drafted. You and all of the others in the military make me so happy and proud to be an American! We never lost the big battles but we lost the war because we fought the wrong way. This attitude is the kind of dedication Mellinger has brought to the military over the years. "If your unit wasn't going to war you could volunteer and go to war. He's told reporters he personally knows between 40 and 50 people buried at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia. "He found his fellow warriors extremely loyal, despite the lack of discipline in other areas. 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 A veteran of multiple deployments himself, Prosser said he knows the importance of the S2 NCOIC down range. 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. Usually 17 or 18, but it may vary from nation to nation. But it wouldn't be the first time he's said he was going to do so. The Army ended the draft in 1973 and at least one other draftee is still on active duty. "Whether it was a 20-mile foot-march, combat stress shooting or fieldcraft, he was right there leading by example. 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. Chief Warrant Officer 5 Ralph Rigby, 62, has served for 42 years, according to information from the 2nd Infantry Division. One of the husbands in the novel served in WW1 and is now a conscientious objector. "It was guys watching grenades go off and shooting each other and booby traps and dumb stuff. But this time, Mellinger said he really is calling it quits. 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. CNN's Jeanne Moos reports.�, "We should be less afraid to be afraid. "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. 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. Whether it was Vietnam, the Balkans or Afghanistan, Master Sgt. Training the Afghans proved frustrating. If we got in a fight, I never got to shoot my rifle, they would surround me. As of 2017, women are not required to register for the draft. 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. "I'm a relic," Mellinger told Time magazine in 2009. He took it on and he ran with it. In 1952, Beilke was drafted and later shipped out to Korea. Get the Soldiers high and then we had discipline problems. "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. He got bumped and bruised, but he hung with it. Maj. Robert Prosser said. He was the guy I needed in that position (as 2-1 Inf. "I said, 'OK, slow down, come in and take a seat, because you're like No. Legally, depends on the nation. 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. FORT LEWIS, Wash. - No matter how often his country called, one old Soldier never could resist marching to the sound of guns. One does not have to be a citizen in order to register. ". So on April 18, 1972, he donned a military uniform and prepared for service. "I couldn't stand the peace-time Army then," Blow said. "You could volunteer"In 1995, a neighbor convinced him the National Guard had drastically improved. 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. He was just 19 when he was drafted into the Army. "�, Man believed to be last Vietnam-era draftee set to retire after 39 years, ISAF blasts claim of U.S., Taliban collusion. "The Peshmerga did the same thing in Iraq. headquarters building only the day before and had barely begun the process of manning and equipping the Army's newest Stryker brigade. "With a lot of the leadership today, it's not just a job, it's a life," Blow said. 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. He spoke soon afterward about today's Army, but in terms that seemed to apply to himself. "They will not let you get hurt," he said. That is, until now. Rigby, a native of Auburn, New York, began his military service when he was drafted, in 1972, during the Vietnam era. Both the wedding and the draft notice. "Intel NCOICFor the last eight months, he has served to help craft wartime intelligence operations for the brigade. "That was good to have as an acting battalion command sergeant major. I told him I had made a mistake, walked out and didn't go back (for 14 years). "Tries civilian lifeHe returned to the Ranger battalion, spending a lot of time, he said, on tarmacs waiting for calls that didn't come. He said post-Vietnam training "decentralized down to battalion, maybe even company, depending on what type of unit you were in. 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