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Melancon to direct state Selective Service System

A Brookhaven resident has been named director of the SelectiveService System in Mississippi.

Brigadier General Steven L. Melancon, who retired in 1996 with31 years of military service, was appointed to the post byPresident George Bush on a nomination from Gov. RonnieMusgrove.

“I’ve been with the selection service for many years, and I’mvery pleased to continue by serving in this position,” Melanconsaid about the appointment.

He held the position of Director of Operations for SelectiveService from 1994-1996 before retiring from active duty.

In his position, Melancon will provide liaison between theSelective Service System and the governor’s office, as well asrepresenting the governor and Selective Service national directorthroughout the state.

The Selective Service System oversees the federal law requiringall male citizens, as well as male non-citizens residing the UnitedStates, to register with Selective Service within 30 days of their18th birthday.

Although there is no draft activated at this time, registrationhelps maintain national readiness in case a national emergencyrequires reinstatement of the draft by Congress, Melanconexplained.

“Our purpose of being here is to help the United States beprepared for the future,” he said. “We don’t know what could happenfrom day-to-day in this new war.”

Melancon’s position will be part-time, but becomes full-time ifa draft is reinstated.

Part of his duties will be to form advisory boards made up ofvolunteers throughout the state.

“We do need volunteers for local boards, with a minimum of oneperson per county,” he said.

The board members do not select who is drafted, since that isdone randomly by computer, rather they will make decisions ondeferments, such as family hardships, conscientious objection andother grounds.

Melancon believes his many years of experience will help createa successful, organized Selective Service System inMississippi.

His military assignments include Headquarters Department of theArmy Staff, operations officer for an infantry battalion, threecompany level commands and two tours in Vietnam flying aerialrocket artillery helicopters.

Military awards he has received include two Legions of Merit,two Bronze Stars and 25 Air Medals. In 1996, he was inducted intothe Field Artillery OCS Hall of Fame at Fort Still, OK.

He earned a Juris Doctorate degree from the University ofMississippi and served a term in the Mississippi House ofRepresentatives.