Seth Moulton for America
May 19, 2019

VIDEO: Moulton Releases National Service Education Guarantee

Boston, MA. –  This morning, during an exclusive interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week,” Seth Moulton unveiled his National Service Education Guarantee. Seth has been an advocate for national service since coming to Congress. His plan is the boldest, most progressive, and most detailed national service plan to be released by a 2020 candidate. Seth’s plan would provide education or job-training benefits tied to years of national service and create a Federal Green Corps to combat climate change and protect our environment. Seth will be talking about his National Service Education Guarantee at all of his campaign stops in New Hampshire today, and full details can be found attached. A link to Seth’s full interview can be found below:



On National Service Education Guarantee:

“I'm calling today for the biggest call to national service since World War II. A way to take us forward, meet the challenges of this new economy and a changing world. America has always risen to the challenges that face our country with a call to service. That's how we surmounted the Great Depression and how we won World War II and it’s how we put a man on the moon. By calling everyone to get behind a common mission, and having everyone do their part. So I'm asking all 33 million young Americans to consider serving their country as well. Not to make it a requirement but an expectation that Americans will take a part in our future, take a part in serving our country. If you invest in America then America will invest in you. Coupled with this call to service is a new national education guarantee, modeled on the GI Bill. To say that if you serve your country you'll get to go to college or to vocational school, we'll make that investment in you. That's the kind of forward-looking policy that I think we need to meet the challenges of a changing world. To address climate change. To bring broadband to rural America and to say to America we need a common mission, we need to be united going forward as a country.”


On Iran:

“I'm so concerned about the escalation with Iran right now. we have to acknowledge that Iran is a threat to American interests. In fact, I fought Iranians on the ground in Iraq in 2004. It was bloody. We won. If necessary, I'd fight Iran again. But right now, war is not necessary…I’m not going to discuss the contents of a classified briefing, but suffice it to say Liz Cheney seems to think that this is a slam dunk, and I disagree. I spoke with General Mattis recently, former Secretary of Defense, who when the Baghdad embassy was attacked in September decided the right course of action was not to send a new carrier group to the Gulf. Not to send 120,000 troops like the administration is contemplating. We need to avoid an incident, like a Gulf of Tonkin incident that set off the Vietnam war, that would drag us into war. Make no mistake this is exactly what John Bolton wants to have happen. He pushed America into Iraq under a weak commander in chief in George W. Bush, and he's pushing America into Iran today. We have the same situation—with a commander in chief who dodged his own generation's war, got his father to use his connections to lie about his feet, lie about his bone spurs and get out of serving his own generation's war. He doesn't have the credibility to keep us out of this one. That's why this situation is so dangerous. It’s why the world is so dangerous is when you have a weak commander in chief in the president of the United States.”


On 2020:

“I think it's time for the generation that fought in Iraq and Afghanistan to take over for the generation who sent us there. To show how we're going to take America forward. Into a new world, into a new economy, into the challenges of climate change, that our generation has to deal with and live with. I think it's time for that change in American politics. I’ve been fighting for it ever since I got elected, ever since I challenged an eighteen-year incumbent as a freshman Congressman. Ever since I fought the last two years to help get veterans across this country elected to help take back the House of Representatives. It's time for a new generation of leadership in American politics. And I’m ready to deliver it.”


National Service Education Guarantee

There is no limit to what millions of young Americans working together can achieve.

The greatest honor of my life was joining the Marines and serving our country, and we owe our military men and women an enormous debt of gratitude for their service. I’m calling for a National Service Education Guarantee because I want every American to have an opportunity to serve like I did--a chance to confront the challenges our country faces today, be a part of something bigger than themselves, and earn a promise that they will be rewarded for their efforts. That’s why my national service plan is modeled on the GI Bill and designed to build on its success in fostering a culture of service to this country we love. Because if you invest in America, we should invest in you.

Here’s what my plan would do:
1. Ask all young Americans to serve: Launch a large-scale national recruiting effort to reach all 33.4 million Americans aged 17 to 24 and ask them to serve their country.
2. Provide an education benefit modeled on the GI Bill concept: Establish an education benefit that will provide 60% of the cost of in-state tuition, or a job-training benefit of up to $14,000, for a one year commitment; a benefit of 80%, or a job-training benefit of up to $19,000, for a two year commitment; and a benefit of 100% of in-state tuition or $24,000 in training, for a three year commitment.
3. Create the Federal Green Corps: Build a new service organization with the mission of combating climate change and protecting our environment.
4. Make national service a cabinet position: Elevate the Administrator of the newly-restructured National and Community Service Administration to a cabinet-level position, giving this new secretary a seat at the table for tackling the country’s biggest challenges.
5. Expand the Corporation for National and Community Service: Rename it the National and Community Service Administration and expand its mission and scope.

Those Americans who answer this call to serve would have several service options:

Join the newly-created Federal Green Corps, a service organization tasked with confronting the effects of climate change. Much like the members of the Civilian Conservation Corps built and maintained our National Parks in the 1930s, its members will take on projects to make our communities more resilient from rising oceans and floodwaters, ensure clean air and water for all Americans, and retrofit public buildings to make them more energy-efficient. We will also train a group of responders to be ready to help after a natural disaster, a need that will grow more critical as climate-related disasters increase in number and severity.

Sign up for an expanded AmeriCorps, FEMA Corps, or AmeriCorps VISTA, working to rebuild America’s infrastructure, tackling lead abatement, planning response and relief efforts during a disaster, or spear-heading anti-poverty projects. We’re going to increase our investment in these organizations, so that any American who wants to join will be able to do so.

Unite Americans behind national service
In order to strengthen our communities and country, and grow the middle class, I have a simple proposition: If you are willing to work hard and sacrifice to serve your country, America will support you by paying for job training and education. Using the GI Bill as a model, we will provide education and job training benefits for those who answer the call to serve. My goal is to make national service an expectation (though not a requirement) of American citizenship, whether you serve in the military, AmeriCorps, or a new Federal Green Corps.

Americans answer the call to serve
During World War II, over 16 million Americans served in the military. Our soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen fought in virtually every theater, with 73 percent serving overseas for an average duration of 16 months abroad. At the same time, millions of women entered the workforce, often directly supporting the war effort. After the attacks on 9/11, our military answered the nation’s call again. More than two million Americans, including myself, served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and more than 6,000 gave their lives. And throughout our history, civilian organizations have brought Americans together to confront shared challenges, from rebuilding America after the Great Depression to putting a man on the moon.

GI Bill invests in our veterans
The American middle class was built by World War II veterans returning home and using their GI Bill benefits. The education and training they received unleashed the innovative potential of the Greatest Generation, spurring the United States to achieve true superpower status. The post 9/11 GI Bill reinforced the sacred trust we owe those who chose to serve following the worst terrorist attack in American history, and it made the American Dream a reality for another generation of returning veterans. That’s why we’re using the model of the GI Bill to support other kinds of service and take on the tough challenges of today.

Today’s challenges
Our country is more divided today than anytime in recent memory, and the challenges we face threaten to tear apart the fabric of our nation. For many, a middle-class life seems to be slipping away, as it becomes increasingly hard for workers to support their families. Our communities are too often separated by race and class, and our discourse is poisoned by hate-filled tribalism found on the internet. And with climate change causing catastrophic floods, wildfires, and hurricanes, we need solutions to match the scale of the challenge. We need a National Service “GI Bill” to unite millions of Americans around solving these problems, and to reward them for doing so.