Web faux pas: Plan leaked for 'civilian security force'?
Obama's compulsory service proposal becomes explicit
His Service Speech - "A New Era of Service" - July '08
'Service'-Helping All Americans Serve Their Country (pdf. download NOW)
Finally, we need to integrate service into education, so that young Americans are called upon and prepared to be active citizens.
Just as we teach math and writing, arts and athletics, we need to teach young Americans to take citizenship seriously. Study after study shows that students who serve do better in school, are more likely to go to college, and more likely to maintain that service as adults. So when I'm President, I will set a goal for all American middle and high school students to perform 50 hours of service a year, and for all college students to perform 100 hours of service a year. This means that by the time you graduate college, you'll have done 17 weeks of service.
We'll reach this goal in several ways. At the middle and high school level, we'll make federal assistance conditional on school districts developing service programs, and give schools resources to offer new service opportunities. At the community level, we'll develop public-private partnerships so students can serve more outside the classroom.
For college students, I have proposed an annual American Opportunity Tax Credit of $4,000. To receive this credit, we'll require 100 hours of public service. You invest in America, and America invests in you - that's how we're going to make sure that college is affordable for every single American, while preparing our nation to compete in the 21st century.
For our veterans, I was proud to be a strong and early supporter of Jim Webb's bipartisan GI Bill, so that today's vets have the same opportunity that my grandfather had under the GI Bill. To marshal their talents in building a new energy economy, I will launch an initiative to give our veterans the training they need to succeed in the Green Jobs of the future. It's time to end our energy dependence at home so our national security isn't held hostage to oil and gas from abroad.
And we will not leave out the nearly 2 million young Americans who are out of school and out of work. We'll enlist them in our Energy Corps, so that disadvantaged young people can find useful work, clean polluted areas, help weatherize homes, and gain skills in a growing industry. And we'll expand the YouthBuild Program, which puts young Americans to work building affordable housing in America's poorest communities, giving them valuable skills and a chance to complete a high school education. Because no one should be left out of the American story.
Now I know what the cynics will say. I've heard from them all my life.
These are the voices that will tell you - not just what you can't do - but what you won't do. Americans won't come together - our allegiance doesn't go beyond our political party, region, or congregation. Young Americans won't serve their country - they're too selfish, or too lazy. This is the soft sell of the status quo, the voice that tells you to settle because settling isn't that bad.
Campaign website- 'Service'
Obama and Biden will set a goal that all middle and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year. They will develop national guidelines for service- learning and will give schools better tools both to develop programs and to document student experience. Green Job Corps: Obama and Biden will create an energy-focused youth jobs program to provide disadvantaged youth with service opportunities weatherizing buildings and getting practical experience in fast-growing career fields.
"When you choose to serve -- whether it's your nation, your community or simply your neighborhood -- you are connected to that fundamental American ideal that we want life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness not just for ourselves, but for all Americans. That's why it's called the American dream."
The Obama Administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the nation’s challenges. President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps.
Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by setting a goal that all middle school and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year and by developing a plan so that all college students who conduct 100 hours of community service receive a universal and fully refundable tax credit ensuring that the first $4,000 of their college education is completely free. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.