A person who does not attend a military draft may be called a draft dodger or resister. He may avoid the draft for fear or moral and ethical dilemmas. Resisting military draft does have consequences.
During the Civil War, those who dodged the military draft were found and branded with the letter “d” on the buttocks, wrist or cheeks and then put into the army. A small number of deserters suffered the maximum penalty: execution by shooting. During the Vietnam War, many fled to Canada to avoid the penalty for not attending the military draft. In 1977, a presidential pardon by Jimmy Carter dismissed indictments and terminated investigations of men who resisted attending the military draft.
Certain citizens can legally avoid reporting for the draft. A person under age 20 may finish high school or vocational schools before attending. College students may finish their term, while students in divinity schools may claim exemption. Some physical and mental conditions exempt a person. Persons with certain hardship and conscientious objections may also be exempt.
Though the last military draft in the United States occurred during the Vietnam War, young men must still register for a possible draft with the Selective Service System. Refusing to register can result in denial of financial aid and admission to state colleges and university. A person may forfeit possible employment opportunities with the government. Penalties could also include 10 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.