Are you a man born in Pennsylvania between 1893 and 1897? If so, a government agency may have just reminded you to register for the draft.
The Selective Service System, which keeps a roster of potential men who can be enlisted in the military, inadvertently sent out mailings to more than 14,000 Pennsylvania men born in those years, reminding them to register.
These letters were sent due to a computer error, the agency said in a message posted online, and the Selective Service has apologized to the families who have received these letters.
The problem occurred following an automated data transfer between Pennsylvania and the Selective Service, which included the names of the 14,215 men born near the end of the 19th century. The letters started going out on June 30, sent to men who would be at least 117 years old.
“It’s never happened before,” Pat Shuback, a spokesman for the Selective Service, told the Associated Press.
Shuback said that the agency uses a two-digit code for the birth year, which is why the years 1893 to 1897 were mixed up with the years from 1993 to 1997. (The agency was actually going to send letters to more than 27,000 men, he said, but they started getting phone calls last week that alerted them to the mix-up.)
Families who received these letters don’t need to do anything or respond to the letters, the agency said.
The draft was first utilized in the U.S. during the Civil War. While the nation has not had a draft since 1973, the Selective Service still requires registration to keep the list in case the draft is ever reinstated. (Not registering, by the way, can cost you up to $250,000 and up to five years in prison.)