How do I register as a Conscientious Objector?

How do I register as a Conscientious Objector?

Unfortunately, the United States Military does not allow private citizens to register for Conscientious Objector (CO) status until a draft is called. However, you can record your desire for CO status by sending a letter stating the beliefs (be they spiritual, religious or personal) or life experiences that would preclude you from serving in the military, to the offices of Selective Services (check for appropriate office).

If you or someone you know currently is serving in the military and is looking for a way out due to conscientious objections, the Center on Conscience & War can help provide all the answers and information. If you have any questions or concerns about obtaining CO status, contact:

  • The Center on Conscience & War (800-379-2679, and a representative will talk you through the process.
  • GI Rights (800-394-9544, who provide information to servicemembers about military discharges, grievance and complaint procedures, and other civil rights.

If you are simply looking for a little more information about registering yourself as a Conscientious Objector, check out this fact sheet.
Contact your elected representative
Let your elected representatives, including members of Congress and George W. Bush, know what you think about the war.


Counsel for GIs seeking discharge for reason of conscience:

The GI Rights Hotline provides advice to GIs on how to work through conscientious objection (C.O.) legalities. Each branch of the military has its own set of rules on C.O. discharges, and proper legal and other advice is essential to navigate the processes for a release.

The GI Rights Hotline for free advice and counsel can be reached at:
1 800 FYI 95GI (1 800 394 9544)

Outside the U.S. call 215-563-4620 or email :

This group can also be connected with at
(Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors or CCCO), 215-563-8787 or

Counsel to those who have enlisted but not yet reported:

The military commonly uses Delayed Enlistment Program (DEP) to sign up young people while still in high school or too young to actually enlist. Most young people think that once they have signed up in the DEP that they cannot get out. THAT IS ABSOLUTELY WRONG. It is relatively easy to get out of a DEP agreement. If you know of someone who has signed up but
changed their mind and not reported, have them call the American Friends Service Committee-Denver office at 303 623 3464. Once they take the induction physical, swear the oath of enlistment, or climb on the bus to report it becomes much more difficult to get don't do any of these things without seeking advise first.

CO Counseling prior to enlistment in the military:

The Roaring Fork Peace Coalition has a video tape from Veterans for Peace entitled How to Be a Conscientious Objector to War.

American Friends Service Committee

Center on Conscious and War

Central Committee For Conscientious Objectors
Washington Truth in Recruiting

Veterans for Peace

Many churches have offices for conscientious objector support including
offering to serve as depositories of C.O. personal files:

United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society, Wash, DC
American Baptist Church, Board of National Ministries, Valley Forge, PA
Southern Baptist Executive Committee, Nashville, TN
Church of the Brethren, Office of Brethren Witness, Elgin, IL
Episcopal Church, Registrar for Conscientious Objectors, NY, NY
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Commission on Church and Society, Chicago, IL
Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Friends General Conference (contact local meetings)
Friends United Meeting, Peace Board, Richmond, IN
Mennonite Central Committee, U.S. Peace Section, Akron, PA
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Office of State Clerk, Louisville, KY
Roman Catholic Church (contact your local diocesan Peace and Justice office)
Unitarian-Universalist Association, Registry of Conscientious Objectors, Boston, MA

Many other religious and faith bodies have supported C.O.s in prior wars. As with Christianity, many branches of Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim communities and many others have common
beliefs in non-violence. So if your faith tradition is not listed, don't assume it would not support C.O.