Why SOS America Is Important
We trust and respect military service. It is a force for good in American society. There is broad societal support for having our young people and the nation gain the benefits of a year of military service. The impact of shared experiences and values will truly create a positive atmosphere of Nation Building in America.
Why Your Support Is Important
To continue the American ‘success story’ requires continual buy-in and renewal of the nation. As John Gardner comments; “Freedom and Responsibility, Liberty and Duty. That’s the deal if you are an American.”
How SOS America Works
SOS America (Service over Self) is a patriotic, membership organization that supports a military service program for our young adults. It will require broad public support (polling is very encouraging). Congressional legislation (previous draft legislation died in committee) and Executive Branch support are required. The plans for 2019 address all these matters.
Increasingly, the high costs of the All Volunteer Force (AVF) raise legitimate questions as to shortages in many career fields and the need to have such highly qualified people in the many support roles. SOS America contends that a specialized one-year enlistment program can be of great benefit to our young adults and the nation. Designed to augment the AVF, it would have these characteristics:
Its name is: The United States Military Service Corps (USMSC)
- It will take advantage of small unit identity and loyalty. Recruits will enlist, train and serve together in small units.
- The Units (roughly 100 recruits) will be led by 6 active duty personnel–2 officers and 4 experienced sergeants.
- Open to recruits ages 18-26–the units will mix geography, ages, economic and educational backgrounds.
- Physical and Mental requirements are based on the ability to ‘take care of (look after) oneself’ vs current AVF requirements that eliminate an estimated 85% of our young adults.
- Yearly recruit numbers will be based “on demand.” The Services, Guard and Reserve plus Federal and State Agencies will forecast their needs to allow for planning and accession.
- Proposed legislation will identify the Department of Defense as the executive/responsible agency.
- The selective service system will be used, in part, to help administer the program.
- The year of choice participation by young men is mandatory unless exempted (i.e. married, first responders, in medical or dental schooling, or lack of national demand).
- Young women will serve on a volunteer basis.
- The costs of the program, part of the Defense budget, will return 3 to 4 times program cost investment in a given year.
- Recruits will be subject to the Uniformed Code of Military Justice.
- Recruit remuneration will be at a basic enlistment rate.
- An educational (mustering out) stipend will be awarded upon honorable completion of the year of service.
- The honorable year of service should also secure citizenship (if needed), expunge police records, ensure English language and GED or better achievement and like benefits.
These program characteristics are essential elements of the proposed program and legislation.