The military defines conscientious objection in terms of a religious or moral opposition to participating in war. Some people contacting the GI Rights Hotline fit in this category and we assist them in applying for discharge. Most of the these people we work with successfully get out.
A lot of recent calls have been from people who do not object to using military force across the board. But, they are very opposed to being ordered to dominate other citizens who are demonstrating for racial equity and for an end to police killings. People who apply for conscientious objection based on those kinds of beliefs will likely be disapproved because they are seen as selective objectors.
While applying for conscientious objection may not resolve things for selective objectors there are still many options to explore. There is no simple one size fits all answer, however many people have been grateful to go over their specific circumstances with GI Rights Hotline counselors and explore ways to get out of the conflict they are feeling. Our counselors have more information: 877 447 4487.
GI Rights counselor, Bill Galvin, was interviewed in an NPR story about National Guard members who are objecting to being assigned to police demonstrations.