Announcing the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service

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Dear Service Leaders,

We are pleased to share this press release from the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service, a new federal entity established by Congress last year.

Over the next two and half years, the 11-member Commission will conduct a review and provide recommendations about the military selective service process and  ways to increase participation in military, national, and public service in order to address national security and other needs of the nation. 

A significant part of the what the Commission will be studying  is related to the work of CNCS and our partners around the country - including increasing the ethic of service, supporting and engaging veterans, incentivizing volunteerism, and national service as a pathway to skills and workforce development.  

CNCS will be working closely with the Commission as it sparks a national conversation around the value of service and develops recommendations to encourage more Americans to serve.  We look forward to providing more information about the Commission and future opportunities for national service grantees, partners, members, and alums to share their input and ideas.

If you have questions or ideas about our work with the Commission, please contact Sandy Scott at

The National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service Swears in Members and Elects Leadership

Arlington, VA: On September 19-21, 2017, the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service (the “Commission”) convened to swear in members, elect leadership, and discuss the Commission’s goals and objectives. 

Established by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, the Commission is charged with considering and developing recommendations concerning the need for a military draft, and means by which to foster a greater attitude and ethos of service among American youth. 

The Commission, which includes a former deputy director of the Selective Service, former director of the Peace Corps, and former Principal Deputy National Security Advisor, brings together diverse experiences from service in the military, public office, on Capitol Hill, and with not-for-profit organizations.

Commissioners elected Dr. Joseph Heck as Chair, Mr. Mark Gearan as Vice Chair for National and Public Service, and Ms. Debra Wada as Vice Chair for Military Service.

Chairman Heck reflected on the important work to come: “Over the course of the next two-plus years, we intend to listen to the public and learn from those who serve to recommend ideas to foster a greater ethos of military, national, and public service to strengthen American democracy.  We hope to ignite a national conversation around service and, ultimately, develop recommendations that will encourage every American to be inspired and eager to serve.” 

Members of the Commission are: 

  • Mr. Edward T. Allard III, former Deputy Director of the Selective Service System
  • Mr. Steve Barney, former General Counsel to the Senate Armed Service Committee
  • The Honorable Janine Davidson, former Under Secretary of the Navy
  • The Honorable Mark Gearan, former Director of the Peace Corps
  • Ms. Avril Haines, former Principal Deputy National Security Advisor
  • The Honorable Dr. Joseph Heck, former Member of the House of Representatives (R-NV)
  • Ms. Jeanette James, former Professional Staff Member of the House Armed Service Committee
  • Mr. Alan Khazei, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Be the Change, Inc.
  • Mr. Thomas Kilgannon, President of Freedom Alliance
  • Ms. Shawn Skelly, former Director, Executive Secretariat, U.S. Department of Transportation
  • The Honorable Debra Wada, former Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs 

Commissioners further indicated their gratitude to the Congress, particularly the leadership of the Armed Services Committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives, for prioritizing this work.  All Commissioners look forward to working with both Chambers and the Administration to advance opportunities for service to our nation.  The Commission intends to issue its final report in late 2019.