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. Volunteer 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 18-25–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 program is highly encouraged but voluntary for young men and women (18-25).
- 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.