Inspired to Serve

This video describes the Commission’s recommendations.

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, our final report, Inspired to Serve is LIVE! Read and share our final report now!

Book cover of the Commission’s final report.

Throughout our work, we saw firsthand how America’s extraordinary and longstanding spirit of service continues to shape the life of our Nation. Americans repeatedly step up in support of each other — offering their time, sweat, and ingenuity when needed — without expectation of anything in return. We commend these selfless actions, as well as past and ongoing efforts by government at all levels and by the nonprofit, faith-based, philanthropic, academic, and private sectors to promote service and volunteerism.

So much has been accomplished thanks to this spirit of service; yet as a Nation, the United States has not unlocked the full, transformational potential of service in all its forms. We believe that the current moment requires a collective effort to build upon America’s spirit of service to cultivate a widespread culture of service — a culture in which individuals of all backgrounds both expect and aspire to meaningfully serve their Nation or community throughout their lifetimes.

Inspired to Serve offers a bold vision and comprehensive plan to strengthen all forms of service to address domestic and security needs, invigorate civil society, and strengthen our democracy. With 255 pages, 164 recommendations, and a fully drafted legislative proposal, we know there’s a lot to read. Here are some highlights to get you started:

We must elevate all forms of service:

  • Revitalize civic education and expand service learning.
  • Coordinate governmentwide service efforts through a dedicated council in the White House.
  • Promote cross-service marketing, recruit­ment, and retention.
  • Create a platform to help Americans discover service opportunities.

We must advance military, national, and public service:

  • Improve military outreach around the country.
  • Increase opportunities for youth to explore military service.
  • Strengthen military recruiting and marketing.
  • Strengthen and expand educational pathways for military service.
  • Effectively manage military personnel.
  • Improve awareness and recruitment of national service.
  • Increase the value, flexibility, and use of national service incentives.
  • Expand opportunities for diverse populations through national service.
  • Establish new models for national service.
  • Reform Federal hiring practices.
  • Modernize veterans’ preference.
  • Expand noncompetitive eligibility.
  • Revamp Federal hiring systems for students and recent graduates.
  • Promote a high-performing personnel culture.
  • Address critical-skills challenges.
  • Increase the competitiveness of Federal benefits.
  • Develop and implement an improved Federal personnel sys­tem.

We must strengthen emergency national mobilization:

  • Maintain a military draft mechanism in the event of national emergencies.
  • Formalize a national call for volunteers prior to activating the draft.
  • Retain and improve the Selective Service registration.
  • Convey to registrants their potential obligation for military service.
  • Ensure a fair, equitable, and transparent draft.
  • Develop new voluntary models for accessing personnel with critical skills.
  • Improve the readiness of the National Mobiliza­tion System.
  • Extend Selective Service registration to women.

Interested in learning more about our vision and plan? Read the final report, executive summary, and Legislative Annex. We look forward to sharing our work with the Congress, the President, and YOU in the coming days, weeks, and months ahead.

Now is the time — and this is the plan — to strengthen service in America. We hope you join us in making our vision a reality — every American, inspired and eager to serve.

Commissioners of the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service
National Commission on Service

Written by

Commission to review the military selective service process and to consider methods to increase participation in military, national, & public service.

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