Last active duty Army Vietnam-era draftee retires

AP News
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Posted: Nov 05, 2014 7:05 PM

AUBURN, N.Y. (AP) — The U.S. military says a central New York native has retired as the Army's last Vietnam-era draftee.

The 2nd Infantry Division's public affairs office at Camp Red Cloud in South Korea says Chief Warrant Officer 5 Ralph Rigby's retirement ceremony was held Oct. 28, his 62nd birthday.

A native of Auburn in Cayuga (ky-YOO'-gah) County, Rigby was drafted in 1972. He's believed to be the Army's last continuously serving active duty draftee.

In July 2011, the Army announced that Command Sgt. Maj. Jeff Mellinger was retiring as the service's last Vietnam-era draftee. But Army officials later had to issue a correction when they learned Rigby and another soldier also were drafted and remained on active duty.

The other soldier, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Franklin Ernst, retired in 2012.

U.S. military conscriptions ended in 1973.