What would you give for a chance to be in on shaping the regulations that govern the way any future draft system works, or the manner in which alternative service is structured for those not drafted?

Well, you can. And all the details are carried in the Dec. 3 Federal Register (page 80125).

The director of the Selective Service System has decided to revise draft regulations, particularly "improving the procedures and increasing the fairness in their application in adjudicating the claims of men for deferment or exemption from military service."

Anyone interested yet?

There's a notion for a National Selective Service Appeal Board, for example, which would take cases where a registrant's own district appeal board had one or more dissents, and the individual asked the president to review the matter.

There are pages of revised definitions and guidance for who fits a category -- conscientious objector, for example. The random selection procedure is laid out along with the order of who would be taken first -- the 20-year-olds, followed by each age group up to 25, then back to the 19-year-olds.

In introducing this intent to change the regulations, the Selective Service notice realistically records that "both the president and president-elect have stated their opposition to the resumption of inductions" and that action of Congress would be needed before a draft could start up.

Nonetheless, the system "must be prepared promptly to implement any responsibility assigned it" and the rule revision process -- which could take longer than the time to get a law passed -- is going to get under way.

Hopefully, more than the two responses generated by the Army's Arlington Cemetery notice will be received in this matter.