Young adults worry about the draft being reinstated after Russian invasion

Published: Feb. 24, 2022 at 7:48 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - We’re in uncharted territory with Russia and Ukraine, and many young people haven’t experienced anything like this. Many TikToks and social media posts about the draft have been popping up and some young adults are scared the draft will be reinstated.

So what really was the draft?

“It is a way for the U.S. to increase its military size and strength by recruiting eligible males in the desired age range of 18 to 26,” Matthew Berman, a Whitmer High School history teacher said. “We haven’t had the draft since Vietnam, since the 1970s, but you still have to register.”

Kids at Whitmer were learning about the Russian invasion at school Thursday, but many of them don’t necessarily realize what it means.

“I think there are a lot of kids who couldn’t find Ukraine on a map and don’t care as long as it doesn’t affect their TikToks,” Stephen Zampardo, another history teacher at Whitmer said. “I think there are other kids who understand what is going on and have a real fear of how this could develop.”

Zampardo says students have been talking to him about the possibility of the draft being reinstated. A lot of TikToks are being sarcastic about getting drafted and a possible World War III, but it’s no joke to many youngsters.

“Every day in this hallway and in my 6 classes, I get a really good opportunity to get a feel for the way young people are thinking and there’s real fear,” Zampardo said.

Students have been curious about what exactly would get the draft reinstated. Zampardo says he doesn’t believe anything happening in Ukraine would be enough for something that drastic, but he can’t say for sure. So what will he tell his students?

“A draft is a last chance desperate move, but being in uncharted territory, with unknown directions where this war is going to go, I can’t tell a person no you’ll never be drafted. I’d say it’s very unlikely but nobody knows.”

Even if you are a male of age to be drafted, there’s a big chance you’ll never have to go fight overseas. In 2017 Pentagon data showed that 71 percent of American between the ages of 17 and 24 were actually ineligible to serve in the military due to being too overweight and other disqualifying factors.

Both Whitmer teachers say we shouldn’t be too worried about the draft coming back anytime soon.

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