Application Form For CO Altered By Draft Board
The Selective Service System has revised its Special Form for Conscientious Objectors to conform with the Military Selective Service Act of 1967.
Applicants for CO status will now have thirty days instead of ten in which to return the form to Selective Service and will no longer have to wrestle with such questions as "Do you believe in a Supreme Being?" and "Under what circumstances, if any, do you believe in the use of force?"
"The form is generally a lot more polite and a lot easier to fill out," Glenn Hoffman, a counselor for the Boston Draft Resistance Group, said yesterday.
The revised form also allows applicants to request specifically either I-A-O (non-combatant) or I-O (civilian alternative service) status.
The Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors, in its September-October issue of News Notes, called the new form "far more intelligent and more appropriate."
The committee specifically hailed the extension of the length of the period during which the form must be returned as "a great boon for applicants who need to collect supporting letters from scattered references, or who have not worked out their answers in advance of requesting the form."
Hoffman was more pessimistic, saying, "Draft boards will still ask the same stupid questions; the people who actually make the decisions are still basically senile American Legionnaires."
Consequently, it is hoped that more CO deferements will be granted by local boards in the future.