Fears about draft spread across Black Twitter after top Iranian general killed

By: N.L. Preston

HOUSTON – Almost immediately after President Donald Trump’s initiated killing of one of Iran’s top generals, Qassem Soleimani, panic spread across social media from young people fearing they would be forced into the battlefield due to the draft.

Hashtags on Black Twitter, including #NoWarinIran, #TrumpsWar and #WorldWarIII showed concerns Black youth felt, thinking that filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may have put their lives in danger.

Memes using celebrity stunned-face gifs saying things like, “Just realized I have to go to war because FAFSA made me sign up for the Selective Service,” and “Niggas after they hear a knock on their door & remember they filled out the Selective Service on their FAFSA,” flooded timelines, being shared thousands of times.

The misinformation was so heavy, some thought they would be notified of them being drafted through text messages. The United States Army chimed in with a “Fact Check” to shut those rumors down.

Although some memes on social media were comical, the fears were not, as the Selective Service website crashed due to an influx of hits from those trying to learn more.

Selective Service officials released a statement via Twitter, letting the youth know they were misinformed and not in any immediate threat of being hauled off unwillingly to war.

“The Selective Service System is conducting business as usual. In the event that a national emergency necessitates a draft, Congress and the President would need to pass official legislation to authorize a draft,” the agency tweeted, also acknowledging that the high traffic flooding the site caused it to shut down.

FAFSA also jumped in to help ease fears, educating the public on the draft and the requirement of filling out the selective service portion when applying for loans.

“We know there are questions on this…registering with Selective Service has been a longstanding requirement to receive federal student aid/a federal job. However, the U.S. military has been all-volunteer since 1973 & Congress would need to pass a new law to institute a draft. There is no priority order for Selective Service based on the FAFSA form (they use a random lottery number and year of birth),” the tweet read.

Both the Selective Service and FAFSA released the information about how a military draft works and the need to register for Selective Service for financial aid. Here’s a quick breakdown:

The Draft

A draft is the mandatory enrollment of individuals into the armed forces. The United States military has been all-volunteer since 1973. But an Act of Congress could still reinstate the draft in case of a national emergency. The Selective Service System is the agency that registers men and is responsible for running a draft.

• Any person assigned the sex of male at birth who is between the ages of 18 to 25 is required to register for the draft. Eligible citizens are required to register within 30 days of turning 18, and immigrants must register within 30 days of entering the U.S.
• If someone who is eligible for the draft has not yet registered, they’re generally unable to get federal financial aid for higher education. FAFSA offers applicants a way to register for the draft in the aid application. Those who are ineligible for draft exemption and who failed to register are not granted federal financial aid, according to the Federal Student Aid Handbook.
• Draft exemptions include males currently in the armed services and on active duty, not including members of the Reserve and National Guard who are not on active duty, males under the age of 18 at the time they complete their FAFSA, non-citizens of the U.S. who came to the country after turning 26 years old, and transgender males.
• Eligible males who forgo federal student loans or do not go to college are not omitted from the draft. Those who choose not to register are susceptible to a felony charge and a fine of up to $250,000, a prison sentence of up to five years, or a combination of the two.

Just to be clear, all men from 18 to 25 years old are required to register with the Selective Service System. Many young men check a box to register when getting a driver’s license. Others sign up when applying for federal student aid to attend college, but just because you registered doesn’t mean you will be drafted.

In order to activate the draft, Congress and the president must sign legislation. According to the Selective Service System’s website, the first group to be entered into a draft lottery would be men who are within the calendar year of their 20th birthdays, followed by those who are 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25. Those who are 18 and 19 would likely not be drafted.

Can anyone be exempt? YES. After undergoing physical, mental and moral evaluations, depending on the results, some men can file a claim to be exempt, or to postpone or defer military service.

Also many want to know if women be drafted? The answer is simple, NO!

Latest Articles


Search our archive of past issues Receive our Latest Updates
* indicates required

October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

Scroll to Top