I graduated from the University of Georgia in June 1969 and began work immediately. I was called for my draft physical in September 1969. I talked with an Air Force recruiter and was told that they were only accepting Officer Candidate School candidates as pilots and navigators. The recruiter contacted my draft board and arranged for me go for an Air Force physical which delayed it until October 1969.
I had a color vision deficit and did not score high enough on the color charts to qualify as a pilot or navigator but passed the rest of the exam with flying colors. I did not want to enlist for 4 years or more unless I could fly, so I decided to be drafted and hope that I could get assigned to a non-combat military occupational specialty based on my accounting degree. Accordingly, the Air Force recruiter sent my physical results back to my draft board in November 1969. My father checked with my draft board and was told that I was the second most eligible person in the draft pool and would be drafted in December 1969. I was resigned to go in December 1969, but then President Nixon cancelled that month’s draft and put everyone under the lottery system.
My birth date, September 28, was the 257th number drawn and I had to survive for one year without that number being reached by my draft board. While 257 seemed safe, my draft board went into the 240s during the next year. I was told that each draft board was still given an allocation based on population and that some rural counties (such as Burke County where I grew up) did not even have all 365 dates represented by eligible draftees. Accordingly, a more rural draft board might draft up to a higher number than other draft boards with much larger candidate pools.