Eighteen and enlisted

Young adults take on new responsibilities

  Turning 18 means you are officially a legal adult.

  New liberties as an adult include the right to vote, buy a lottery ticket, get married and apply for a driver’s license without the need of a permit.

  For 18-year-old boys, their birthday marks the first day they can sign up for the United States military draft – something that is legally required, and often forgotten.

 Not much discourages a man from signing up for the draft – not even the status of their citizenship.

  Men aged 18 through 25 are required to sign up within 30 days of their birthday. Girls, however, are not required to sign up for the draft.

 Colbie Orbea, a senior who is 18, agrees that in a time of  war crisis, she would enlist in the army.

  The penalties for not signing up within 30 days of your eighteenth birthday, during peace time, are nonexistent to insignificant, so GBHS students shouldn’t worry.

  However, during a wartime crisis, the penalties can be as severe as five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

  Although the draft hasn’t been used since the end of the Vietnam War, with President Donald Trump looking to launch “a great rebuilding of the armed forces,” the draft could be used again.

   Having “no knowledge” of the draft, 18-year-old senior Mason Lopez said he thinks school “doesn’t tell us a lot of (practical information), but (only tries to) prepare us for academics”.

   For example, Lopez said he “didn’t know” about the requirement that he must sign up for the draft.

  With college seeming to be the dominating focus for after graduation, entrance into the armed forces is also on some students’ minds.

  But where can these students get this information?

  Pamphlets as well as on-campus recruiters are available at Granite Bay High, but sometimes not widely known.

   “My role at GBHS is to educate young men and women on the opportunities the Marine Corps has to offer (and) help facilitate their entrance into the Marine Corps if they decide to” said  Sgt. Matthew Snow, a Marine Corps telecommunications specialist.

  Snow said he knew from a “young age I wanted to enlist, because of the events of 9/11,” and so he was well aware of the draft.

  For those who do not wish to join the armed forces, however, the draft and the requirement to register can still be ambiguous.

  “I do not plan on joining the military – it would have to be (for) something that I felt really strongly about,” said Nash Rood, an 18-year-old senior.

  Although Rood knows where he stands regarding his possible enlistment in the armed forces – it’s not very likely – he still is unsure about how enlistment and the draft work.

  “If I have to actively go register for (the draft), then no, I was not aware of that,” Rood said.

   Information regarding enlistment can be found all over campus – it’s just a matter of students knowing where they can get it.

  “I feel the opportunities for more information are there,” Snow said. “However, it is up to the individual to seek the information and find out how we can help.”