FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Service Year Alliance Applauds Civilian National Service Recommendations from the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service’s Final Report
The Commission’s report calls for one million people serving annually in civilian national service by 2031.
WASHINGTON, DC (March 25, 2020) – Service Year Alliance applauds the civilian national service recommendations included in the final report that was released today from the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service. The Commission’s report calls for expanding opportunities to serve so that five million people are serving annually in civilian, military, and public service by 2031. Specifically, the report aims to have one million people serving annually in civilian national service — the largest call to expand national service in decades.
“The coronavirus pandemic and the fallout that we are experiencing from this crisis has shed a brighter light on the importance of national service. National service transforms lives, strengthens communities, and fuels a much-needed civic renewal — at a time when our country is having extremely important conversations about our path forward, we should be prioritizing the recommendations coming out of this Commission and working to make them a reality,” said Gen. (Ret.) Stan McChrystal, Chairperson of Service Year Alliance. “This is a once in a generation moment. This bold, bipartisan report calls for the biggest systemic change to national service in decades. It’s more important than ever that we recognize that all service in America — including civilian, military, and public service — is critical to bringing our country together.”
In addition to large-scale expansion of civilian national service, the report calls for:
- the creation of a new fellowship model to support individuals participating in a service year at any certified nonprofit organization, significantly expanding the universe of opportunities for national service, especially in rural and underserved areas;
- doubling the number of opportunities for national service programs that engage opportunity youth and tribal communities, and expanding opportunities to serve for people with disabilities and returning citizens;
- the creation of a White House Council on Military, National, and Public Service led by a cabinet-level position;
- the creation of a unified service platform that acts as a “one-stop shop” to match individuals who want to serve with opportunities in military, civilian, and public service;
- opportunities for joint recruitment among all forms of service so more Americans are aware of the different types of opportunities to serve; and
- improving the value, flexibility, and use of benefits like the Segal Education Award and living allowance, and providing in-state tuition to national service alumni.
“Our nation is facing an unprecedented moment with the novel coronavirus. In light of the enormous needs of our communities, national service can be part of the solution. We need to arise from this public health and economic crisis more united, and national service is a powerful, concrete way to do just that,” said Jesse Colvin, CEO of Service Year Alliance. “The call to action in the Commission's report is exactly what this moment requires, and at Service Year Alliance, we are deeply encouraged to see the Commission call for the expansion and adoption of work we’ve been leading on over the last four years to make a year of paid, full-time national service a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans. We are eager to lift up many of the bold civilian national service recommendations from the Commission and look forward to working closely with our partners in order to make them a reality on Capitol Hill and beyond. But in order to be successful, it's going to take Congress, philanthropic leaders, and the business community all coming together to invest in dramatically expanding national service — and we hope to lead in this effort to usher in a new era of national service in America.”
View the National Commission of Military, Service & Public Service’s final report here. With additional questions about the report or Service Year Alliance’s statement on the recommendations, please contact Aly Ferguson at [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. A service year before, during, or after college gives young people the chance to transform their lives, make an impact in their community, and become the active citizens and leaders our nation needs. Expanding service years has the power to revitalize cities, uplift and educate children at risk, and empower communities struggling with poverty. Learn more at ServiceYearAlliance.org.