Draft Status

Things Twice
Originally compiled: August 31, 1997
Last revised: August 31, 1997

What was Dylan's draft status?
From: ccruzan@aol.com (CCruzan)
Subject: Dylan and Conscription/Drafting Armed forces
Date: 3 Jul 1997

He would have had to register in in May of 1959 (at that time you registered within 30 days of your 18 birthday). No physicals were given unless you were called and while they registered not everyone was called in those days. 4-F status (as physically or psychologically unfit) would only be determined at time of physical. Vietnam was not an issue in those days and not really until 1964-65 was it even controversial (and then it was still muted). By this time Dylan would have not been in the draft pool. And in fact, up to Johnsons buildup in 1965 all Vietnam soldiers and sailors were volunteers.

I have always assumed that Dylan like most men of the period fell between the cracks. Kennedy introduced 20,000 combat troops into Nam as well as the early trials of both helicopters and special forces but these were existing units made up of people that volunteered for military duty. In this time period it was, of course, much more common for men to volunteer since they tended to get you later if you didn't. I had many friends who went into service in 1961 and 1962 who never went to Nam unless they volunteered because they did their duty and were discharged from active duty before manpower requirements got out of hand. Just an opinion.


Chuck Cruzan
Fayetteville, GA, USA

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