National Commission Seeks to Inspire More Americans to Serve

Last week on the eve of a government shutdown, the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service kicked off with its first public event–a two year effort to encourage and inspire more Americans to serve their communities and nation.

Congress authorized the National Commission–a temporary federal agency designed to review the military selective service process and consider methods to increase participation in military, national, and public service–in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017.  

“When Jack Reed and I led the effort to establish this Commission, we hoped it would be a catalyst for an important national conversation on military and public service,” said U.S. Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Our nation is at a crossroads, and we must decide how we want to foster a culture of service among American men and women from all walks of life. I encourage everyone with an opinion to share their views with the Commission as it develops its recommendations.”

“The importance of this Commission's work and mission cannot be overstated,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “We, as a government, must invest in our public servants. This Commission's efforts will develop effective ways to increase participation in military, national, and public service for both men and women, ultimately strengthening our communities, and the nation.”

The Commission is chaired by Dr. Joseph Heck, Brigadier General in the U.S. Army Reserve and former Member of Congress from Nevada. Debra Wada, former Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, and Mark Gearan, former Director of the Peace Corps, serve as Vice Chairs. A full list of Commissioners and their biographies can be found here.

“Our nation is at its best when we are striving toward shared goals with a common vision,” said Dr. Heck. “The Commission seeks to ignite a national movement that will lead, ultimately, to every American being inspired and eager to serve.” Dr. Heck outlined the Commission’s work to create a service movement with an op-ed in The Hill.

The Commission will heavily engage the public, including with a series of events around the nation and via social media, in order to develop a report and legislative recommendations to the Congress and President that are due on March 2020.

The first public conversation held by the Commission will take place February 22-23 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The public can submit ideas and comments through the Commission’s website at or on Facebook and via Twitter @Inspire2ServeUS. Readers are encouraged to engage with the Commission and offer your perspective.


Posted in General News


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