Current regulations (Instruction 1300.6 for the Department of Defense) are clear that conscientious objector status (or “CO status”) is to be granted only to those individuals who object to “participation in war in any form.” Therefore, conscientious objection, as it is currently acknowledged by the Department of Defense, is reserved to those who identify as strict pacifists. An important caveat is that one’s reason may be based on moral or ethical reasoning as well as religious training or belief. Selective objection, wherein a service member objects not to the idea of warfare as a whole but to particular wars, is not yet recognized.
Here is a comprehensive list of websites, books, films, and church statements which provide information and resources about conscientious objection, military counseling, the Truth Commission on Conscience in War, alternatives to the military, and more.
Center on Conscience & War (NISBCO) is a nonprofit service agency sponsored by a broad association of religious bodies who join to protect, defend, and extend the rights of conscientious objectors.
The GI Rights Hotline is a service of the GI Rights Network. This is a nongovernmental network providing free, confidential, counseling to members of the armed forces. Phone: 1-877-447-4487.
American Friends Service Committee Youth and Militarism Program provides resources about the military and its impact on young people. The program supports local organizing campaigns to counter militarism in schools.