Obama Suddenly Remembers: He Almost Joined the Military
He’s never mentioned it before, not even in two autobiographies, but Barack Obama has suddenly remembered that he considered joining the military.
Obama disclosed that he had once considered serving in the military.
“You know, I actually did,” Obama said. “I had to sign up for Selective Service when I graduated from high school. And I was growing up in Hawaii. And I have friends whose parents were in the military. There are a lot of Army, military bases there.
“And I actually always thought of the military as an ennobling and, you know, honorable option. But keep in mind that I graduated in 1979. The Vietnam War had come to an end. We weren’t engaged in an active military conflict at that point. And so, it’s not an option that I ever decided to pursue.”
UPDATE at 9/7/08 9:12:26 am:
Just one problem with Obama’s little story.
Registration for selective service was not reinstated until 1980.
On March 25, 1975, Pres. Gerald Ford signed Proclamation 4360, Terminating Registration Procedures Under Military Selective Service Act, eliminating the registration requirement for all 18-25 year old male citizens. Then on July 2, 1980, President Jimmy Carter signed Proclamation 4771, Registration Under the Military Selective Service Act, retroactively re-establishing the Selective Service registration requirement for all 18-26 year old male citizens born on or after January 1, 1960. Only men born between March 29, 1957, and December 31, 1959, were completely exempt from Selective Service registration. The first registrations after Proclamation 4771 took place on Monday, July 21, 1980, for those men born in January, February and March 1960 at U.S. Post Offices.
(Hat tip: Jammie.)
UPDATE at 9/7/08 10:33:33 am:
Several readers have emailed to point out that when Selective Service was reinstated in 1980, it was retroactive, so that Obama would have been required to register at that time. But the fact remains that Obama said he was required to register “when he graduated,” and that’s simply not true.