In 1964 Bill Clinton was classified 2-S (student deferment), which protected him from the draft throughout his undergraduate years at Georgetown University. As Bill Clinton approached graduation from Georgetown in 1968 his classification was changed to 1-A (Available for the draft).
Family and friends with political influence kept Bill Clinton out of the draft after his graduation from Georgetown University. His uncle, Raymond Clinton, in 1968 personally contacted Senator Fulbright, William Armstrong (Chairman of the Hot Springs draft board) and Lt. Commander Tice Ellis, Jr. (Commanding Officer of the local Naval Reserve unit) to obtain a slot for Bill in the Naval Reserve. A slot was especially created for Bill when no existing reserve slots were open at his local reserve unit.
Bill Clinton, choosing not to follow through, failed to show up at the reserve unit for his interview and physical. Raymond Clinton later informed Lt. Com. Ellis that Bill would not be joining the reserves and that everything has been taken care of.
Robert Corrado a former member of the Hot Springs draft board in 1968 recalled the chairman of the three man draft board held back Clinton’s file with the explanation that we have to give him time to go to Oxford. Corrado further stated that Armstrong complained about an aid from Senator Fulbright’s office urging him and his fellow board members to give every consideration to keep Clinton out of the draft. Clinton’s draft file was routinely held back from consideration by the full board for the remainder of the year.
On February 2nd, 1969 Bill Clinton, while at Oxford University, finally takes his physical for the armed services and passes. His pre-induction physical was delayed over 10 months (twice as long as anyone else in his age group and situation).
In April 1969 Clinton fails to show up for his induction to military service. Clinton claims he did not receive the notice until after the dead line date and the draft board told him to ignore this notice.
While still in Oxford, Bill Clinton begins planning his appeal for his next induction notice. The plan he comes up with is to have his notice rescinded by joining the R.O.T.C. at the University of Arkansas.
In July of 1969 Clinton returns home from Oxford after he receives a second induction notice. He is to report on July 28, 1969.
Clinton’s friend and Oxford classmate, Cliff Jackson, had several friends in influential positions arranged a meeting for Bill Clinton with Col. William A. Hawkins. Hawkins was the only man in the State of Arkansas who could rescind the induction notice.
Clinton’s induction notice was rescinded and was admitted into the Arkansas University R.O.T.C. program after he promised to enroll in law school at the University of Arkansas. Bill’s new draft classification is 1-D (ROTC deferment)
For the remainder of the summer, Bill Clinton goes to Washington D.C. and works with the anti-war movement at the National Headquarters of the Vietnam Moratorium.
As September approached, Bill Clinton fails to enroll at the University Arkansas and returns to England around mid-September of 1969. It is quite clear that major changes in the draft would be forthcoming in the next few days or weeks. Clinton’s appearance at Oxford was unexpected and he had to sleep on the floor in his friend’s room.
In October and again in November 1969 Clinton organized and led anti-war demonstrations in London, England with the support of the British Peace Council, which was backed by the World Peace Council who was a front for the KGB.
October 30, 1969 Clinton was automatically reclassified to 1-A eligible for induction, after he failed to enroll at the University of Arkansas. Bill Clinton today, claims he volunteer for the draft but has no proof. Regardless, by this time a freeze was put on the draft until the lottery was established.
The Selective Service Lottery was held on December 1, 1969. Clinton’s birthday draws number 311 in the first lottery. This high number guarantees Clinton will not be called up for the draft.
Two days later Clinton writes his infamous ROTC letter to Col. Holmes thanking him for saving him from the draft.
According to Snopes.com:
Although what he did may not have been against the law, Clinton’s broken promises and contradictory statements about his efforts to avoid the draft were prime examples of the kind of self-serving doublespeak that later earned him the sobriquet “Slick Willie.” As Maraniss concluded in his Clinton biography, First In His Class:
“It was just a fluke,” Clinton would say decades later, when first asked how he had made it through this period without serving in the military. But of course it was not a fluke. A fluke is a wholly accidental stroke of good luck. What happened to Clinton during that fateful year did not happen by accident. He fretted and planned every move, he got help from others when needed, he resorted to some deception or manipulation when necessary, and he was ultimately lucky.