Texans and Americans around the country have been seeing a lot of talk about the draft returning on social media. If you've been scrolling through socials and feeling a little panicked about rumors of the draft being reinstated, take a deep breath. The draft is not back, and there's no need to start worrying about being called up. Here’s the lowdown on what’s really happening.

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First things first: the United States hasn’t had a draft since 1973. Yep, that's over 50 years ago! The recent buzz stems from a proposed change to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which could automate Selective Service enrollment. Basically, if this change goes through, men aged 18-26 would automatically be registered for Selective Service. But remember, this isn’t the draft — it’s just registration.

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Men aged 18-25 are already required by law to register for Selective Service. If you’re in this age group, this isn’t new information for you. The Selective Service System has been around, quietly collecting names just in case a draft is ever needed. But, rest assured, no draft is currently in place, and enlisting in the military remains entirely voluntary.

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 27: Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) speaks during a press conference on new legislation to support Holocaust education nationwide at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 27, 2023 in Washington, DC. A bipartisan group of House Members held the press conference to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day and share their stories about their Jewish family members or Jewish constituents in their district. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
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Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.) introduced this measure to streamline the registration process and save money on education and advertising campaigns. While it's a change in how people get registered, it doesn’t mean the draft is coming back.

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In fact, the military is smaller than it’s been in decades, with 2024 seeing the smallest active-duty force since 1940. Plus, findings from a Pew Research Center report show that only 23% of young people even qualify for military service, and most 18- to 29-year-olds have a negative view of the armed forces.

So, Texas, sit back and relax. No one is getting drafted. Keep scrolling, and don’t let those social media rumors stress you out!

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