(Editor’s note: This guest editorial is written by Keith Rogers, Robert Foust and Willie McTear of Las Vegas, Nevada.)

As some of the United States’ last draftees and a few who testified against expanding military draft requirements to young women, we applaud members of Congress who struck that ill-advised provision from the National Defense Authorization Act.

The job of Congress will only be half done until the obsolete Selective Service System is abolished for all, once and for all.

While U.S. courts contend that the male-only draft is “constitutional,” Congress now has an opportunity to make the male-only military draft unconstitutional by abolishing the dinosaur “system,” that has worked “selectively” against poor and minorities as history has proven.

There is only one way to make it a fair and equal playing field for all and that is to make a law to strike any requirement for everyone 18- to-26- years-old to register for the military draft.

With today’s all-volunteer military forces and our high-technology defense systems, the only purpose for registering for selective service is to hold male-only student loans hostage. That is not fair to young men and their families.

The hidden ramification of young Americans 18- to 26-years failing to register is that doing so would impact a person’s ability to vote in elections because of the felony status for failing to register under the current law.

What a mess that would be. That is all the nation needs at this point in history is another law to enforce that affects poor and minorities disproportionately.

We urge Congress to pass the Last Draftees Abolish Selective Service Act of 2022 and be done with this charade.

How did we get to this point in the first place?

Former Rep. Joe Heck, R-NV, lost to Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto, D-NV, in the Silver State U.S. Senate race, and now-former President Trump threw Heck a bone. Trump let him chair a commission to explore the issue, and other things related to national service and public service.

The problem with the 11-member commission, including Heck, is that none of the members, in all due respect, represented Black or Hispanic Americans, a significant slice of the nation’s population.

After meeting with Heck in 2019, we chose to submit written testimony as private citizens and Vietnam War conscripts to the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service.

When Heck was questioned by the House Armed Services Committee he was not forthright when asked about any opposition to his plan. In fact, he failed to mention our six-page joint statement that staunchly opposes his commission’s pre-conceived recommendation.

Our book, “Last Draftees”, a story by four U.S. Army soldiers about the draft, civil rights and corruption during the Vietnam War, opens with our statement to the commission.

The Foreword was written by the late civil rights/equal rights activist and African-American draftee Robert L. Green, PhD, dean and professor emeritus, Michigan State University.

Our joint statement should be part of the Congressional Record on this matter because we are Selective Service subject matter experts — not by choice. No member of that commission is old enough to have been drafted before the last wave of some 10,000 conscripts in 1972 and early 1973, when the all-volunteer Army took hold.

There were 1.8 million young men drafted for the Vietnam “conflict” that claimed 58,220 American lives.

We dedicated our book to “All the draftees whose stories were never told.” Again, the only way to make this fair for all is to abolish it for all, once and for all.

When our nation asked us to serve, we answered the call.

Now it is Congress’ turn to answer our call and abolish selective service.

May we forever be the last draftees.