Franklin D. Roosevelt

Statement on Signing the Bill Reducing the Draft Age.

November 13, 1942

The time has now come when the successful prosecution of the war requires that we call to the colors the men of eighteen and nineteen. Many have already volunteered. Others have been eagerly awaiting the call. All are ready and anxious to serve. The civilian careers of these men will be interrupted, as have the careers of most of their seniors. Large numbers about to enter the armed services will come from schools and colleges. The vocational and technical training which the armed services now offer to many will stand them in good stead.

I am causing a study to be made by a committee of educators, under the auspices of the War and Navy Departments, for the taking of steps to enable the young men whose education has been interrupted to resume their schooling and afford equal opportunity for the training and education of other young men of ability after their service in the armed forces has come to an end. Some useful action along this line was improvised at the end of the last war. This time we are planning in advance.

Finally we are announcing in the near future a plan providing for the utilization during the war of the facilities of certain colleges and universities for the training of a limited number of men of the armed forces for highly specialized duties. These men will be selected solely on the basis of their ability and without regard to whether or not they are now in college or whether they could otherwise afford to go to college.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Statement on Signing the Bill Reducing the Draft Age. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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