Let’s face it, single dads go through a lot of stress on a daily basis. After all, we change diapers, illness, temper tantrums, as well as a whole host of other fatherly issues.
But how do we deal with stress outside of the home that we have zero control over?
I bet many single dads never really give much thought to the fact that they could potentially get drafted at a moment’s notice…
Which begs the question: can a single father be drafted?
According to my research and the talk of the online community, a single father can absolutely be drafted under strict conditions.
How? Let’s take a moment and examine the facts below:
Enlistment for Single Parents Isn’t Possible Without Custody Transfer:
The armed services ceased allowing single-parents to enlist in the armed services because they noticed the problems that long-term combat deployments created.
For example, after the attacks on September 11, 2001 mechanisms were implemented so that the chances for single fathers (and mothers) joining the military would be unattainable without custody transfer.
The military’s logic – and rightfully so for the sake of the child – is that folks in the military must be deployable in a moment’s notice.
Clearly, if war were to happen or you are called to defend our nation there can be no red-tape hindering you from doing your duty.
Let’s Talk About Custody Transfer:
According to one very popular law firm:
Some states permit child custody transfers with a power of attorney or similar document, the military requires a court order. Therefore, if you would like to enlist, you will be required to initiate a court proceeding to transfer custody. It should be noted that the single-parent custody prohibition changes from time to time based on the needs of the military.
Also, if a father is already in active duty member and becomes a single dad, they would subsequently need a Family Care Plan that guarantees someone non-military to be on-call at a moments notice – and put in writing – that’s available 24 hours a day 7 days a week to assume full responsibility of your child should you be called away to serve your Country.
In addition to designating the child to both a short-term care provider and a long-term care provider (deployment could last several years), there has to be a financial plan in place that will address the growing financial needs of the child in care.
For instance, there must be in place a financial plan that allows the caregiver to potentially relocate to a new location.
In addition, financial, medical, and legal support must also be put in place that ensures continuity of support during the transition.
Logistical adjustments must provide for the economic support needed to bring the caregiver to a selected neighborhood.
Failure to comply with these Family Care Plans will result in an immediate discharge.
This may at first glance appear to be harsh and unusual punishment, however, if we look at the consequences with respect to the child then it’s easy to see how irreparable harm will come to the child.
Naturally, there is an appeal process in place, however, the military would have an iron-clad case against you and the chances of you coming out on top is next to nil.
What does all this have to do with a single dad who is not in the military?
For starters, if the military has extremely strict guidelines for those serving in the armed forces, you can be assured that they have even stricter guidelines for those single dads who are non-military folks.
Why Is The Family Care Plan So Important?
Basically, getting drafted in the military as a single dad with no family care plan will certainly lead to challenges for everyone – you, the child, and the military.
When an individual gets drafted, they are essentially giving their life to the armed forces with duty overriding everything else.
Between the long hours serving your country, and the extended periods of deployment, these are conditions not favorable for a single dad.
Someone has to be responsible for taking care of the children at all times. If it is not the parent, it has to be given to a trusted member of the family (typically) by court order.
Rules Strengthened And Enforced After Gulf War One:
When the military received orders from the pentagon to begin deployment of active-duty military branches to the Gulf for Operation Desert Shield, they got an unforeseen surprise; thousands of single-parents were not ready to go.
They had no plans for the care of their children. This caused a lot of rescheduling and juggling of deployment plans.
As a result, the Department of Defense (DOD) got tough. In July of 1992, DOD published DOD Instruction 1342.19, Family Care Plans, to standardize the requirements for all of the military services. Additionally, the military services stopped accepting single-parents for enlistment in the military.
What Happens If The Family Care Plan Fails?
Due to the unpreparedness of the Gulf war that left the military in a bad spot, the military does not mess around when it comes to the adherence of the family care plan under any circumstance
Just how serious are they? According to regulations:
when single parents’ family care plans fail, and the command is able to administratively discharge soldiers because their duties of parenthood are interfering with their duties to the Army,” she said.
This, of course, only applies to those already serving within the military, and not civilians facing a possible draft.
The Only Other Option the military would have is forcing single dads to give up their children for adoption.
Not only would this be against every form of human rights, but not many fathers would be willing to do this – and the military knows that.
Whether you already serve in the military, or you’re a civilian facing a potential draft, the rules are as clear as night and day: there must be some sort of custody transfer set in place that will allow the priority of the child to supersede the goal of either the parent or the military.
All my information is based on North American protocol, so it’s logical to assume that they are similar in other parts of the developed world as well.
Indeed, other parts of the world such as Africa and Cuba most likely will not take into account the rights of a child as the number one priority.
That said if you are a concerned American, Canadian, or a father residing in the UK, or any other Tier 1 Country you have nothing to fear.
You can sleep well knowing that the odds of you being separated from your child is next to nothing.
Are you a single dad in or out of the military concerned about being drafted? If so leave your comments below!