As I have written previously, from a historical perspective, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has almost always issued negative determinations with regard to first-level reviews in Selective Service failure to register cases, no matter how favorable the facts. While we have obtained favorable results in all of our Selective Service cases, it has been our experience that OPM will not issue favorable determinations until the second-level review is conducted by OPM's Director or his designee. In January 2012, we obtained our first favorable first-level determination. Yesterday, we received notice that another client also received a favorable first-level determination — i.e. a finding that his failure to register was not knowing and willful.
Our client, who works as a wildland firefighter on the west coast, actually submitted his Selective Service registration when he was approximately 18 years of age, but Selective Service had no record of receiving his registration card. Fortunately, our client's family was able to corroborate the fact that he had mailed his registration card and OPM determined that this was enough to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that his failure to register was not knowing and willful.
This case would appear to indicate that OPM is indeed giving Selective Service cases a more thorough and fair review at the first level — a very welcome change to those individuals who have unknowingly failed to register with the Selective Service.