The NCSL Blog


By Jim Reed

A wide-ranging congressionally mandated study by a commission of distinguished public servants calls on the American people to recommit to the spirit of public service that is embedded in the history of the United States.

Source: CNCS, An AmeriCorps member tutors students in Minnesota.Learn the recommendations of this commission by joining “Inspired to Serve: A Path Forward,” (2-3:30 p.m. ET Thursday), a culminating event to discuss the report of the bipartisan National Commission on Military, National and Public Service. The virtual conversation will focus on how to build a new culture of service and help define the path forward. Register here.

The commission’s final report, "Inspired to Serve," “provides a bold vision and comprehensive plan to strengthen all forms of service to address critical security and domestic needs, invigorate civil society, and strengthen our democracy.” It is essentially a road map to creating a more dynamic national commitment to a new and integrated approach to service, while strengthening the foundations of the republic.

The commission hopes to “unlock the full transformational potential of service in all its forms.” Members of the commission worked for 2 1/2 years and heard from thousands of participants and commenters to compile its extensive report.

The commission calls on American citizens to personally commit “time, energy and talent to a mission that contributes to the public good by protecting the nation and its citizens, strengthening communities or promoting the general public welfare.” The hope is that every citizen will be exposed to service opportunities throughout their lifetimes.

Shawn Skelly ,  Former Director, Executive Secretariat, U.S. Department of TransportationCommission member Shawn Skelly spoke at a session, “Inspiring Americans to Serve: National Commission on Military, National and Public Service,” during NCSL’s 2019 Legislative Summit in Nashville. She worked at the U.S. Department of Transportation as the director of the Office of the Executive Secretariat and is a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, having served as a naval flight officer, retiring with the rank of commander.

She told NCSL delegates the commission findings confirm that American ideals of service are real and active across all levels and there is a passion among Americans to serve. She urged state legislators to read the commission report and find those opportunities that would benefit their home communities and states.

Jim Reed staffs the NCSL Military and Veterans Affairs Task Force.

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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.