Franklin Project at the Aspen Institute Calls for Universal Voluntary National Service -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Franklin Project at the Aspen Institute Calls for Universal Voluntary National Service

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SOURCE The Aspen Institute Franklin Project

Two Hundred Retired Generals and Admirals, Sixty Retired Sergeants Major, and Eight Veterans and Military Organizations Join

WASHINGTON, June 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Franklin Project at the Aspen Institute, has cosponsored a pledge entitled "Enlisting America: A Call to National Service from Those Who Have Served." The pledge was signed in partnership with The Air Force Association, The American Legion Auxiliary, The Association of the United States Army, The Code of Support Foundation, Got Your 6, The Military Child Education Coalition, Student Veterans of America, The Mission Continues, and Team Red, White & Blue.

Aspen Institute logo.

The pledge has also been signed by two hundred retired Flag and General Officers and sixty retired Sergeants Major who collectively have devoted more than 6,500 years of service to the country. Unveiled on June 5th by Lieutenant General (Retired) John D. Gardner at the Franklin Project's Summit at Gettysburg, the pledge will be opened this week to signatures from the entire military, veterans, and family community.  

The text of "Enlisting America: A call to national service from those who have served," reads as follows:

"National service is what our country needs in the 21st Century, and we encourage everyone to get behind this big idea.

America works best when every individual is invested in a positive vision for our collective future. That demands active citizenship built around the responsibility to serve. We, the sponsors and the undersigned-all veterans of military service-believe that universal voluntary national service would ensure that young people grow up as responsible, engaged citizens, not just individuals. 

1. There should be an opportunity-and expectation-that every young American serves their country for a year.

Some individuals may not be eligible, or may simply choose not to serve in the military; they should be encouraged to seek opportunities in civilian service instead. They would serve full-time as civilians some time in the decade they enter adulthood, between when they are 18 and 28, and receive a modest stipend. Such national service, in one of a range of opportunities from education to conservation, from AmeriCorps to the Peace Corps, would be voluntary-not legally required-but instead culturally expected.

2. There are many ways to serve your country; military and civilian national service are two sides of the same coin.

Service is required to create the citizens our country needs. The military alone cannot-and should not-provide all the service opportunities required. Many young Americans will serve as civilians. As veterans of the military, we recognize that military and civilian service are part of a continuum of national service."

To sign the pledge, go to this link:

Four-Star Signatories Include:

Stanley A. McChrystal

U.S. Army

Crosbie E. Saint

U.S. Army

William S. Wallace

U.S. Army

Louis C. Wagner

U.S. Army

Johnnie Wilson

U.S. Army

Ronald H. Griffith

U.S. Army

Henry Hugh Shelton

U.S. Army

Fred F. Woerner, Jr.

U.S. Army

William W. Crouch

U.S. Army

Frederick J. Kroesen

U.S. Army

David A. Bramlett

U.S. Army

Dan K. McNeill

U.S. Army

Arthur E. Brown, Jr.

U.S. Army

Michael J. Williams

U.S. Marine Corps

Michael V. Hayden

U.S. Air Force

Pete Chiarelli

U.S. Army

Ann E. Dunwoody

U.S. Army

W.L. Nyland

U.S. Marine Corps

Gordon R. Sullivan

U.S. Army

The Franklin Project is a new venture by the Aspen Institute, which envisions a future where a year of fulltime national service-a service year-is a cultural expectation, a common opportunity, and a civic rite of passage for every young American. A young person would discharge his or her national service obligation by either serving in the military or as a civilian by completing a fulltime service year through programs such as Teach for America, AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, or any eligible nonprofit. A service year would be voluntary, but expected. For a service year, a small living allowance is provided, so that all young Americans have opportunities to serve. The service year would be completed at some point between the ages of 18-28.

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

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