The American Presidency Project
John T. Woolley & Gerhard Peters • Santa Barbara, California return to original document
• Franklin D. Roosevelt
Proclamation 2425 - Selective Service Registration
September 16, 1940
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Whereas the Congress has enacted and I have this day approved the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, which declares that it is imperative to increase and train the personnel of the armed forces of the United States and that in a free society the obligations and privileges of military training and service should be shared generally in accordance with a fair and just system of selective compulsory military training and service; and

Whereas the said Act contains, in part, the following provisions:

Sec. 2. Except as otherwise provided in this Act, it shall be the duty of every male citizen of the United States, and of every male alien residing in the United States, who, on the day or days fixed for the first or any subsequent registration, is between the ages of twenty-one and thirty-six, to present himself for and submit to registration at such time or times and place or places, and in such manner and in such age group or groups, as shall be determined by rules and regulations prescribed hereunder.

Sec. 5. (a) Commissioned officers, warrant officers, pay clerks, and enlisted men of the Regular Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard, the Coast and Geodetic Survey, the Public Health Service, the federally recognized active National Guard, the Officers' Reserve Corps, the Regular Army Reserve, the Enlisted Reserve Corps, the Naval Reserve, and the Marine Corps Reserve; cadets, United States Military Academy; midshipmen, United States Naval Academy; cadets, United States Coast Guard Academy; men who have been accepted for admittance (commencing with the academic year next succeeding such acceptance) to the United States Military Academy as cadets, to the United States Naval Academy as midshipmen, or to the United States Coast Guard Academy as cadets, but only during the continuance of such acceptance; cadets of the advanced course, senior division, Reserve Officers' Training Corps or Naval Reserve Officers' Training Corps; and diplomatic representatives, technical attaches of foreign embassies and legations, consuls general, consuls, vice consuls, and consular agents of foreign countries, residing in the United States, who are not citizens of the United States, and who have not declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, shall not be required to be registered under section 2 and shall be relieved from liability for training and service under section 3 (b).

Sec. 10 (a) The President is authorized?

(1) to prescribe the necessary rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this Act;

(4) to utilize the services of any or all departments and any and all officers or agents of the United States and to accept the services of all officers and agents of the several States, Territories, and the District of Columbia and subdivisions thereof in the execution of this Act;

Sec. 14 (a) Every person shall be deemed to have notice of the requirements of this Act upon publication by the President of a proclamation or other public notice fixing a time for any registration under Section 2.

Now, Therefore, I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, under and by virtue of the authority vested in me by the aforesaid Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, do proclaim the following:

1. The first registration under the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 shall take place on Wednesday, the sixteenth day of October, 1940, between the hours of 7 A.M. and 9 P.M.

2. Every male person (other than persons excepted by Section 5 (a) of the aforesaid Act) who is a citizen of the United States or an alien residing in the United States and who, on the registration date fixed herein, has attained the twenty-first anniversary of the day of his birth and has not attained the thirty-sixth anniversary of the day of his birth, is required to present himself for and submit to registration. Every such person who is within the continental United States on the registration date fixed herein shall on that date present himself for and submit to registration at the duly designated place of registration within the precinct, district, or registration area in which he has his permanent home or in which he may happen to be on that date. Every such person who is not within the continental United States on the registration date fixed herein shall within five days after his return to the continental United States present himself for and submit to registration. Regulations will be prescribed hereafter providing for special registration of those who on account of sickness or other causes beyond their control are unable to present themselves for registration at the designated places of registration on the registration date fixed herein.

3. Every person subject to registration is required to familiarize himself with the rules and regulations governing registration and to comply therewith.

4. The times and places for registration in Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico will be fixed in subsequent proclamations.

5. I call upon the Governors of the several States and the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia to provide suitable and sufficient places of registration within their respective jurisdictions and to provide suitable and necessary registration boards to affect such registration.

6. I further call upon all officers and agents of the United States and all officers and agents of the several States and the District of Columbia and subdivisions thereof to do and perform all acts and services necessary to accomplish effective and complete registration; and I especially call upon all local election officials and other patriotic citizens to offer their services as members of the boards of registration.

7. In order that there may be full cooperation in carrying into effect the purposes of said Act, I urge all employers, and Government agencies of all kinds?Federal, State and Local-to give those under their charge sufficient time off in which to fulfill the obligation of registration incumbent on them under the said Act.

America stands at the crossroads of its destiny. Time and distance have been shortened. A few weeks have seen great nations fall. We cannot remain indifferent to the philosophy of force now rampant in the world. The terrible fate of nations whose weakness invited attack is too well known to us all.

We must and will marshal our great potential strength to fend off war from our shores. We must and will prevent our land from becoming a victim of aggression.

Our decision has been made.

It is in that spirit that the people of our country are assuming the burdens that now become necessary. Offers of service have flooded in from patriotic citizens in every part of the nation, who ask only what they can do to help. Now there is both the opportunity and the need for many thousands to assist in listing the names and addresses of the millions who will enroll on registration day at school houses, polling places, and town halls.

The Congress has debated without partisanship and has now enacted a law establishing a selective method of augmenting our armed forces. The method is fair, it is sure, it is democratic-it is the will of our people.

After thoughtful deliberation, and as the first step, our young men will come from the factories and the fields, the cities and the towns, to enroll their names on registration day.

On that eventful day my generation will salute their generation. May we all renew within our hearts that conception of liberty and that way of life which we have all inherited. May we all strengthen our resolve to hold high the torch of freedom in this darkening world so that our children and their children may not be robbed of their rightful inheritance.


FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

Citation: Franklin D. Roosevelt: "Proclamation 2425 - Selective Service Registration", September 16, 1940. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=15858.
 
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