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.