National Health and Manpower Resources

September 24, 1952

Report Outline
Draft Rejection in Korean Conflict
Health Status in the Productive Years
New Health Hazards in Industry
Means of Improving Workers Health
Special Focus

Draft Rejection in Korean Conflict

Draft rejection rates for the war in Korea show a larger proportion of men disqualified for military service than during World War II. If taken at face value, the selective service figures would suggest that the health of the nation's young people has seriously deteriorated in recent years. However, draft rejection statistics are no longer regarded as a sound index to the state of the nation's health and opinion is divided on the seriousness of the situation the figures disclose.

Maj. Gen. Lewis E. Hershey, director of Selective Service, told Congress in June that the country faces a “real youth-health problem” and offered draft rejection figures to support this conclusion.

But U. S. Surgeon General Scheele had said six months earlier that “despite the major health problems… we have the healthiest population in the world”. And President Truman said more recently: “We now have the highest standard of health in our history. Life expectancy has never been so high; the occurrence of communicable disease has never been so low,” This was fundamental to the national security because “only the strong can survive and only the healthy can be strong”.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Military Draft
Aug. 19, 2005  Draft Debates
Jan. 11, 1991  Should the U.S. Reinstate the Draft?
Jun. 13, 1980  Draft Registration
Jun. 20, 1975  Volunteer Army
Nov. 17, 1971  Rebuilding the Army
Nov. 18, 1970  Expatriate Americans
Mar. 20, 1968  Resistance to Military Service
Jun. 22, 1966  Draft Law Revision
Jan. 20, 1965  Reserve Forces and the Draft
Feb. 14, 1962  Military Manpower Policies
Jun. 03, 1954  Military Manpower
Sep. 24, 1952  National Health and Manpower Resources
Oct. 24, 1950  Training for War Service
Aug. 21, 1950  Manpower Controls
Aug. 13, 1945  Peacetime Conscription
Sep. 09, 1944  The Voting Age
Apr. 15, 1944  Universal Military Service
Feb. 17, 1942  Compulsory Labor Service
Jun. 11, 1941  Revision of the Draft System
Aug. 14, 1940  Conscription in the United States
Apr. 24, 1939  Conscription for Military Service
General Employment and Labor
Health Insurance and Managed Care