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Frequently Asked Questions

If your question is not answered below, please email us at or call us at (703) 571-3742. Feel free to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Medium.

What is the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service?

The National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service was created by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017 to review the military selective service process and to consider methods to increase participation in military, national, and public service. The Commission will develop a report and recommendations by March 2020 for the American public, Congress, and the President.

Is the Commission part of the Department of Defense?

No. The Commission is an independent federal agency. It is considered both an “independent establishment” and a “temporary organization” under federal law.

What is the Commission’s timeline and how is it meeting its objectives?

The Commission was formally established on September 19, 2017 and will formally disband in September 2020.  The Commission is reviewing the military selective service process and considering ways to increase participation in military, national, and public service by researching previous work done in these areas and studying a range of options for consideration. As part of its work, the Commission is actively seeking public comment via the Federal Register, website, e-mail, and mail. It has also organized a series of public meetings across the country which included visits to service sites, interviews with people from diverse backgrounds, ages, and interests, and meetings with government, nonprofit, civic and for-profit leaders as well as subject matter experts. Starting in February 2019, the Commission will hold a series of public hearings to explore policy options on a variety of topics under its mandate.

How were the commissioners chosen to serve on the Commission?

The 11 commissioners were chosen in 2017 by the President and congressional leadership.  President Barack Obama selected 3 members. In Congress, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of the Senate, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Minority House Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senator John McCain and Ranking Member Jack Reed of the Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman, and Mac Thornberry and Ranking Member Adam Smith of the House selected one member each.

How can I share my input with the Commission?

There are many ways to share input with the Commission regarding the Commission’s mandate. You can share your comments via the website here, mail your comments or any material you see fit to 2530 Crystal Drive, Suite 1000, Box #63, Arlington, Virginia 22202 or you can email your response to Additionally, you can attend a public event shared on our website. If you have any questions, please call us at (703) 571-3742. For the latest news and events of the Commission, please visit

What is the Commission seeking comments on?

The Commission welcomes comments on any topics within its mandate. We are interested in the public’s views the following issues: whether the military draft or draft contingency is still a necessary component of U.S. national security and if so, whether there modifications to the selective service system that are needed; the inherit value of service; barriers that make it difficult for people to serve; ways we can increase the desire of all Americans, and particularly young Americans, to serve their nation and communities; ways we can attract individuals with critical skills to address national security and other public service needs of the nation; and whether mandatory service for all Americans is necessary, valuable, and feasible. You can leave your comments here.

When does the Commission stop accepting comments from the public?

The Commission will continue to accept comments from the public on its website and by email and mail. We will accept comments through December 31, 2019.

Where can I find the Commission’s reports and decisions?

The Commission released its interim report in January 2019 and will release its final report by March 2020. For the latest updates, please visit

How did the Commission select locations for the public meetings?

The Commission held public meetings in each of the nine geographic Census regions in 2018, including communities in urban and rural areas. In selecting specific locations, the Commission considered many factors, including population density, regional and geographic factors, demographics, socio-economic considerations, and more. You can listen to our 2018 public meetings here.

What is the difference between a public meeting and a public hearing?

The Commission held 9 public meetings in 2018 and will hold 14 public hearings in 2019. Public meetings were held across the country and provided opportunities for members of the public to hear from the Commission and local leaders in military, national, and public service. Like town halls, they also allow members of the public to provide comments and questions to commissioners and panelists. Public hearings are more formal events. Public hearings will involve testimony from experts on various issues to help inform and vet policy options that the Commission may consider as it generates its final report. These events will be open to members of the public and will be publicized in advance on our website, social media, and through other means. Public hearings will also be announced through the Federal Register.

Does the Commission follow the same guidelines as a Federal Advisory Committee?

The Commission is an independent federal agency and is subject to the same statutory and regulatory requirements as other federal agencies. It is not subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which governs certain meetings of advisors to federal agencies. Also, it is not subject to the Government in the Sunshine Act, which governs meetings of agencies where most of the agencies’ members were appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

How can I request records of the Commission?

A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request is a written request received by a U.S. federal agency from an individual or entity requesting agency records. Anyone can submit a FOIA request to the Commission by emailing with a description of the desired records. To learn more about the Commission’s FOIA process and other ways to make FOIA requests, please visit

What is the Selective Service System?

The Selective Service System is an independent agency within the Executive Branch of the United States Government. Their role is to be prepared to provide trained and untrained manpower to the Department of Defense in a national emergency, and to manage a program of alternative service for person’s classified as conscientious objectors to all military service. All male U.S. citizens, regardless of where they live, and male immigrants, whether documented or undocumented, residing in the United States, who are 18 through 25, are required to register with Selective Service. To learn more about the Selective Service System, please visit

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