Nevada Executive Branch Agencies
Selective Service System
In 1926 the Joint Army and Navy Selective Service Committee began forming plans for the revival of the Selective Service. The committee functioned until 1936, when a series of regional conferences replaced it. As Nevada's Adjutant General Jay H. White noted in his biennial report for 1940-1942 (p. 61): "In line with such decision [to plan for conscription by means of regional conferences] this State was called upon to recommend qualified officers of the State Staff of the Nevada National Guard, for study of proposed plans, for the mobilization of the manpower of our State, and . . . this was done, although actual work upon the proposal had been commenced by the Adjutant General and Headquarters personnel in 1933."
Earlier, in his report for 1932-1934 (p. 11), White had written: "During the past two years a large amount of work has been carried on in the office . . . in the way of mobilization plans and in connection with a proposed selective service law for Nevada, based on a National Selective Service Law, and it can be fairly stated that existing plans now on file in this office will, for the first time in our history, permit prompt mobilization al all active and inactive units of the National Guard assigned to Nevada, and the efficient and immediate functioning of local draft boards in each county . . . in the event that any national emergency should make such action desirable and necessary."
The Selective Service System that operated from 1940-1948 began with President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Executive order of September 23, 1940, which was based upon the Selective Service and Training Act of September 16, 1940 (subsequently amended throughout World War II). Initially, the System was an independent agency. In 1942 it was placed under the War Manpower Commission; it reverted to independent status the following year.
In 1947 it was transferred for liquidation to the Office of Selective Service Records.
As with the World War I draft, conscription from 1940 onward functioned through state and local civilian boards. In Nevada, as in most states, the adjutant general was the State Director of Selective Service. A civilian staff and Army, Navy, and Marine Corps personnel assisted him in carrying out this responsibility. Major components of the System were the Executive Officer (later the Deputy State Director), Manpower Section, State Occupational Advisor, State Procurement Officer, Appeal Section, Reemployment Committeemen, and Advisory Boards for Registrants. State Board of Appeal, Government Appeal Agents, Medical Advisory Boards, Examining Physicians and Dentists.
Much of the work involved communicating directives from the national headquarters of the Selective Service System to district and local boards within the state. With the cessation of hostilities the Director and staff and the local boards directed most of their efforts to administering of the Veterans Assistance Program, which largely involved advising veterans of their rights. The office of the director also compiled casualty lists for World War II and the Korean and Vietnam conflicts.
The Selective Service Act of 1948, through which Congress reestablished conscription, provided for the appointment of local boards and a state director. For the first several years of the reconstituted System in Nevada, the adjutant general was the state director, but functioning with his regular army commission and rank. In other words the first director was Colonel James A. May, United States Army, not Major General James A. May, Nevada National Guard. Later directors were officers in the regular armed forces, assisted by reserve officers.
Although conscription was terminated in 1973, a presidential proclamation of 1980, pursuant to an amendment to the Selective Service Act adopted earlier that year, required the registering of males between the ages of 18 and 26.
Selective Service Records
Statement of Service World War II (O.S.S.R. Form 4) 1948-1953 (date when card prepared) 19 boxes
On reverse of card: "This Statement of Service is furnished by the Office of Selective Service Records under Public Law 26, 80th Congress, approved March 31, 1947, from Selective Service Records and from information furnished by the armed forces . . . . This statement is furnished primarily for historical purposes of the State but may be used for other governmental purposes of the State such as use in the adjudication of claims in which the State is solely concerned." The remainder of this statement concerns confidentiality.
The following information is found on the cards: name, service serial number, residence, Selective Service local board, date of birth, place of birth, race, sex, registered (yes/no), service in (Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Marine Corps), entered service by (enlistment, induction, commission), date of enlistment/induction/commission), date of entry into active duty, date of release from active duty, grade or rating at separation, highest grade or rating held, character or type of separation or discharge (e.g., honorable, presumed dead, transferred to reserve), battles and campaigns, decorations and citations, foreign and/or sea service (yes/no, dates), remarks (e.g., "discharged to accept employment in essential industry"), last mailing address, and date prepared. Arranged alphabetically by name of veteran.
There are cards also for veterans of the Korean Conflict.
Registration and Service Entry Cards 1965-1972 (date of registration) 74 boxes
Most of the cards are "Selective Service System Registration Cards" (SSS Form 1, various versions). The information required includes: name, selective service number, place of residence, date of birth, place of birth, mailing address, date of registration, "name and address of person other than a member of your household who will always know your address," color of eyes and hair, height and weight, and other obvious physical characteristics (e.g., birthmark, scar, tattoo).
Also there are cards for "Notification of Entry into Active Military Service" (DD Form 53, various versions), which was "Not to be used for men inducted under the Universal Military Training and Service Act." These forms call for the following information: name, selective service number, number and address of local Selective Service board, home of record, armed force (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard), service number, grade, rate, or rank, date of entry into active service, date of birth, sex, name, grade, and station of responsible officer.
Another form found in these records is "Report of Home Address at Time of Last Entry into Service" (NME Form 53, various versions), which was "not to be used for men inducted under the Selective Service Act of 1948." Categories of information include: name, county, city or town, number and street or RFD number, grade, rank, or rating, serial or service number, race, service (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard), and information needed for those registered under the Selective Service Act of 1948 (local board number, state, county; Selective Service number).
Finally, there are plain cards upon which is the following information is typed: name, address; Selective Service System number, and date of birth. Arranged alphabetically by name of registrant
Selective Service Files 1933-1977 2 cu. ft.
This series documents the functions and procedures of the Selective Service System in Nevada in the World War II era. There are also records from the 1930s relating to plans for conscription and mobilization, as well as material on the Korean and Vietnam eras. Among the records herein are those pertaining to civilian personnel (1942-1944), which includes: a table of organization, rosters, information on hiring, salaries, promotions, and correspondence between Nevada's Selective Service offices and national headquarters of the system including personnel, memoranda, and press clippings. Other records include:
- Reports and outgoing correspondence, with related documents, regarding Nevada casualties in World War II and the Korean and Vietnam conflicts.
- World War II-era forms (DSS Form 100A--Classification Record) for classifying registrants. Arranged by county; circulars issued from State Headquarters, Selective Service System, 1940-1944, with alphabetical and numerical indexes for the 1940-1941 circulars.
Materials relating to pre-World War II planning: General Mobilization Plan, State of Nevada, 1933; "Selective Service. Plans of Organization and Administration. State of Nevada," n.d., ca.1940; "Selective Service Plan for Printing Selective Service Forms, State of _________," ca. 1932; and "The Protective Mobilization Plan, Ninth Corps Area, 1938," Annexes 1 and 7 (Part 5).
Reports of Transfer or Discharge (DD Form 214) 1945-1979; 1981-2002 72 boxes
Arranged in two different ways: 1945-1972, alphabetically by name of veteran; and 1980-1997 by year of discharge and then alphabetically by name of veteran. There are very few records for 1973-1980 when the draft had been abolished.
These records consist mainly of D[epartment of] D[efense] Form 214 ("Armed Forces of the United States Report of Transfer or Discharge") in various versions from 1950-1972. The versions vary in some details, but the essential information remains the same.
A person leaving active duty retained the original of this form; other copies went to the headquarters of his or her branch of service, the National Military Personnel Center at St. Louis, and to the Selective Service board of the state from which the veteran entered the armed forces. With the termination of Selective Service System in 1973 the state copies of DD 214 in Nevada were transferred to the State Archives. Since the revival of the Selective Service in 1980, the state copies of DD 214 have gone to the Nevada Commission for Veterans Affairs which in turn sends records older than 3 years to the Nevada State Library and Archives.
Major categories of required information include: name; service number; social security number; selective service number; department, component and branch or class (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force); grade, rate or rank; pay grade; citizenship; place of birth; type of transfer or discharge; reason or authority; character of service (e.g., honorable); last duty assignment and major command; district , area command or corps to which reservist transferred; terminal date of reserve /UMT & obligation; term of service; date of entry; home of record; statement of service (years, months, days); decorations, medals, badges; education (civilian and military); VA claim number; remarks (e.g., blood group)
Other forms which may be attached to the above records include: DD Form 4 ("Enlistment Contract--Armed Forces of the United States"); GSA Standard Form 88 ("Report of Medical Examination"); "Department of the Army Special Orders"; DD Form 44 ("Record of Military Status of Registrant"); "Record of Discharge from the U. S. Naval Reserve."