Several American citizens have received fake text messages in the past week informing them that they were being called up for a military draft, the US Army Recruiting Command reported on Tuesday. The news comes amid heightened tensions in the Middle East following the US assassination of former IRGC Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani.
The command stressed that the text messages are false and have no connection to the command or to the US Army.
The Selective Service System, an agency outside of the Department of Defense, manages registration for the Selective Service, not the US Army Recruiting Command.
"The Selective Service System is conducting business as usual,” stated the system’s official Facebook page. “In the event that a national emergency necessitates a draft, Congress and the President would need to pass official legislation to authorize a draft."On Friday, the Selective Service System crashed amid fears that the draft would be reinstituted. The agency tweeted that "due to the spread of misinformation, our website is experiencing high traffic volumes at this time."
The draft was last in effect in 1973; the military has been an all-volunteer force since then.
Almost all men ages 18-25 who are US citizens or immigrants living in the US must register with Selective Service. All citizens must register within 30 days of turning 18 and all immigrants must register within 30 days of arrival to the US, according to the usa.gov website.
Failure to register with Selective Service means ineligibility for federal student aid, federal job training and federal jobs. Those who fail to register may face prosecution and a fine of up to $250,000 and/or up to five years of jail time.
Nothing happens after registering with Selective Service unless Congress and the president authorize a draft, in which case registered men will be called up and examined for fitness for military service.