WASHINGTON, DC (January 23, 2019) – Today the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service published their interim report.
“We believe the Commission’s mission to foster a greater ethos of military, national, and public service to strengthen American democracy presents a unique opportunity to bridge the civilian-military divide”, said Shirley Sagawa, CEO of Service Year Alliance. “This ensures that the burden of our collective freedom is no longer carried by the few. Service Year Alliance believes that military and civilian national service are two sides of the same coin, and that America works best when every individual is invested in a positive vision for our collective future."
Sagawa: “For the first time in history, less than 1 percent of Americans are serving in our Nation’s military and approximately 71% of the 34 million 17-to-24-year-olds in the U.S. would not qualify for military service because of reasons related to health, education, and other factors. Yet, young adults of all backgrounds want to serve and communities across the country are facing significant unmet challenges like education inequity, disaster relief, aging populations, and substance abuse issues,” said Shirley Sagawa.
Sagawa: “Over the next year, as the Commission prepares its Final Report to Congress, Service Year Alliance will continue to support the Commission with policy recommendations that build on the infrastructure of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, YouthBuild and other service year programs and expand opportunities for every young American to serve. We are pleased that the Commission will consider proposals to increase the living allowance stipend, exempt the education award from taxation, and encourage colleges and employers to recruit individuals who have completed a service year as they embark on the next phase of their work. We believe that similar policies that reward and incentivize a year of national service is the first step in making service a cultural expectation and common opportunity an for all young Americans.”
For additional information or to interview Shirley Sagawa, please contact Thorsten Ruehlemann at 202-677-1863 or [email protected].
About Service Year Alliance
Service Year Alliance is working to make a year of paid, full-time service — a service year — a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans. Expanding service years, with programs like AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, and YouthBuild, has the power to revitalize cities, uplift and educate children at risk, and empower communities struggling with poverty. Learn more at ServiceYear.org.