WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A U.S. congressman says it's time to end the country's "outdated" draft registration system because the volunteer military is more effective.
Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., a retired Marine Corps officer and veteran of the 1991 Gulf War, said that after 31 years the "ineffective" program should end, the Navy Times reported Monday.
"It is an outdated program that has cost us well over $700 million in the last 31 years, and it is time for it to go," Coffman said in a statement.
The draft itself ended in 1973, but draft registration for 18-year-olds continues.
There was a movement during the 1990s to eliminate registration, but President Clinton supported keeping the practice, calling it a "low-cost insurance policy."
Coffman, who enlisted in the Army in 1972 and would serve in the Army Reserve, Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserve, said today's volunteer military is more effective than a force of draftees.
"Every year since the draft ended in 1973, the Army has improved the quality of its personnel, training, and professionalism," Coffman said in a statement. "I saw firsthand how ineffective the draft Army of the early 1970s was compared to the highly professional, all-volunteer military of today.
Ending draft registration and closing down the Selective Service System would save the country about $24 million a year "without negatively affecting our national security in the least," Coffman said.