CCCO/An Agency for Military and Draft Counseling was founded in August 1948 by a coalition of peace and civil liberties groups following passage of the Selective Service Act of 1948. Originally called the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors (CCCO), this group sought to maintain the rights of those Americans who, because of ethical, moral, and religious beliefs, questioned violence and war as ways to solve international disputes. In its first annual report in 1949, CCCO stated its purposes: "We gave impetus and assistance to local communities in setting up counselling agencies and cash bail funds, in establishing a network of counsellors across the country, and in calling for legal advice in planning strategy for challenging the constitutionality of the Selective Service System." Early leadership of CCCO was provided by Ray Newton and A.J. Muste as co-chairmen, and by executive secretaries Caleb Foote, Lyle Tatum, George Willoughby, and Arlo Tatum.
With the outbreak of the Korean war in 1950 and Congressional extension of the draft act, CCCO increased its efforts to provide amnesty for draft violators and strengthened its support of draft counseling centers across the country. The first edition of the Handbook for Conscientious Objectors was published in 1952 and has since been a major CCCO tool in aiding draft and military resisters. In the mid-1950s, the CCCO extended its services not only to CO's but to those resisting war taxes and loyalty oaths as well. The escalation of hostility in Indochina during the 1960s created a surge in calls for CCCO services. Its Draft Counselors Manual aided the network of volunteer counselors, keeping them up to date and enabling them to advise young men and women of all alternatives to the draft, not only conscientious objection. As the numbers fighting in Vietnam grew, the CCCO became increasingly involved in military as well as draft problems. To reflect its broadened scope, it changed its name in 1969 to CCCO/An Agency for Military and Draft Counseling. The National Military Law and Counseling Program, based in its Western Regional Office in San Francisco, was created specifically to do research and advise men and women already in the Armed Forches about military laws, regulations and discharge procedures. In 1975, its was estimated that l0,000 people were counseled by CCCO.
After the Vietnam war, the CCCO's efforts focused on the issues of amnesty, discharges, repatriation, and counter-recruitment. The Taskforce on Recruitment and Militarism was organized in cooperation with other organizations to promote counter-recruitment. TASAW (Take a Stand Against War), begun in 1975, sought to give high school and college students information about draft choices to counter the Selective Service's registration campaigns. The CCCO called attention to the rights of African Americans and of women in the military, and continued its program of prison visitation to CO's. For a period, it was the nation's largest draft and military counseling agency. CCCO changed its name once more to the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors.
CCCO suspended operations in late October 2009. As of 2010, some of the counseling service was taken over by the GI Rights Hotline and the Center on Conscience and War.
Staff members who provided leadership for the CCCO include Michael Barba, David Collins, James Feldman, Jr., Bill Galvin, Jon Ginaven, John Judge, Jerry and Sue Kinchy, Jon Landau, Carol McNeill, Robert Musil, Bob Seeley, and Larry Spears.