Share This Article

Hi Mr. History,

I’m writing a book about World War 2 from the point of view of women in WV.  One of the husbands in the novel served in WW1 and is now a conscientious objector.  Do you know the exact date that a man who was 45 would be subject to military service?  All I can find is vague statements like “After the US entered the war, conscription for military service was expanded to men 35-45.”  Is there a more precise date you can give me?  I want to get this right.
Thanks for your help,

Patricia Harman


Dear Ms Harman,

The Selective Service Act, inaugurated on September 16, 1940, applied to men from their 21st birthday through the last day of their 44th year for potential enlistment, while men 18 through 65 had to register for the draft. As of October 18, 1942, it was reiterated that anyone from his 45th birthday onward was classified as IV-A, overage and therefore unfit for active service.



Jon Guttman

Research Director

World History

More Questions at Ask Mr. History


Don’t miss the next Ask Mr. History question! To receive notification whenever any new item is published on HistoryNet, just scroll down the column on the right and sign up for our RSS feed.