For the first time in American history, Congress charged our Commission with something never done before: conduct a comprehensive and holistic review of the Selective Service System and all forms of service to the Nation. After two-and-half years of extensive research, public hearings, and conversations with Americans across the country, we released our final report, Inspired to Serve. Before our work ends in September, we at the Commission would like to thank you for following our journey and helping us achieve this mission.

Below is a message from Chairman Joseph J. Heck:

Throughout the Commission’s work, we saw firsthand…


Video: Inspired to Serve

Over the past two and a half years, members of the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service often discussed the vision, policies, and legacy of service that President John F. Kennedy gave to the nation.

President Kennedy served in the U.S. Navy, as a public servant, and created the Peace Corps. He was a champion of service and helped build the modern national service movement. And who can forget his stirring call to the American people: “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country?”

President John F. Kennedy at Rice University. Source: JFK Library


On June 25, a dozen leaders — including two former cabinet members, private sector and federal agency CEOs, and nonprofit and service advocates — gathered around the virtual table to highlight the critical role of service in addressing current and future challenges. They called for action on our recommendations addressed in our final report, Inspired to Serve.

The program featured opening remarks from Commission Chairman Heck, interviews with Former Secretary of Defense and Director of the CIA Leon Panetta and Ambassador Susan Rice, and two panel discussions.

Chairman Heck highlighted the need for action given the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing…


Our democracy depends on having informed and active citizens. But if 22 percent of American adults can’t name any of the three branches of government and nearly 4 out of 10 don’t know any of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment, how can individuals be active participants in our democratic republic?

Our nation is falling short. The Commission found that only 22 States require high school students to be tested on civics or US government before they graduate, and only 8 states require a full year of civics instruction for high school graduation.

To participate effectively as citizens, Americans…


Often serving in the military, national service or the federal government includes serving amongst other individuals, but there are a few times when that includes serving with four-legged colleagues. With the same commitment in their hearts, these animals help support not just their handler, but the agency, nonprofit, or branch they serve. Today, we shine light on some of the animals who work and support military, national, and public service. Behind every animal, there are individuals who serve in numerous capacities. Let your interest in these four-legged members help you discover a possible service career!

Conan. Source: Department of Defense

Conan. In November 2019, this…


This month marks the anniversary of America’s birthday and the creation of its all-volunteer military. While many Americans will be celebrating the Fourth of July at home this year, it is a good time to reflect on the tradition of service present at this nation’s founding and to consider how more Americans can answer the call to serve today.

Happy Independence Day

The National Commission on Military, National and Public Service’s duty was to consider this question. Over the last two years, the Commission has traveled and spoken with everyday Americans and service leaders in communities across the country. We have been inspired…


From the mobilization of the Civilian Conservation Corps to build infrastructure during the Great Depression to home front voluntary efforts during World War II, Americans have always stepped up to serve in challenging times. Over the past two and a half years, the Commission saw firsthand how service provides a means of addressing the needs of the nation. Today, that American spirit of service shines brightly as citizens are leading by example through their selfless service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Across the nation, there are many unsung heroes on the frontlines responding to the pandemic. Public servants, public health professionals…


During National Military Appreciation Month, we recognize and honor all who have served the country — past and present — in the U.S. military. Today, on Armed Forces Day, we celebrate the 2.14 million active duty service members who, here at home and all over the world, defend our nation and protect our freedoms.

This year, as our nation and the world faces the invisible but deadly enemy of the coronavirus, we salute all those in uniform who are providing critical support to stem the spread of this pandemic. Across the country, more than 47,000 members of the National Guard


After two and a half years of research, hearings, and conversations with Americans around the country, we released our final report, Inspired to Serve, on March 25. The report offers a bold vision and comprehensive plan to strengthen all forms of service to address critical security and domestic needs, invigorate civil society, and strengthen our democracy.

Interested in our vision and plan? Check out these three ways to learn more:

1. Read our report! If 255 pages is on the long side, how about something shorter? Check out the following:


A National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientist conducts research in a lab. Source: NIH

During Public Service Recognition Week, we honor public servants across federal, state, local, and tribal government who are working tirelessly on behalf of all us for the security and well-being of the nation. In every community, unsung heroes in public service are on frontlines of response to the COVID-19 crisis. The U.S. …

Archive: National Commission on Service

The archived posts of the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service from November 2018 to July 2020. This is an inactive account.

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