H.R.5741 - Universal National Service Act

To require all persons in the United States between the ages of 18 and 42 to perform national service, either as a member of the uniformed services or in civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, to authorize the induction of persons in the uniformed services during wartime to meet end-strength requirements of the uniformed services, and for other purposes. view all titles (3)

All Bill Titles

  • Official: To require all persons in the United States between the ages of 18 and 42 to perform national service, either as a member of the uniformed services or in civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, to authorize the induction of persons in the uniformed services during wartime to meet end-strength requirements of the uniformed services, and for other purposes. as introduced.
  • Popular: Universal National Service Act as introduced.
  • Short: Universal National Service Act as introduced.

Comments Feed

Displaying 1-30 of 46 total comments.

pkf3221 11/15/2012 10:39pm

This bill has a lot of potential.I think it should be mandatory for every American to serve his/her country at some point in their life.Two years is not that long of a time.Just look at what Woodrow Wilson did with the National Parks during his time.If we could redirect our narrow assumptions of this being a ‘slave bill’ and take a step back, we may see opportunity in this piece of legislation. How many young people do you know that would benefit from a little discipline, perspective, and responsibility?What if we provided alternative service options,i.e.Americorps, Peace Corps, Teach For America, Road Work, Park Service, etc…Many Americans walk around with this self-entitlement swagger that is completely unwarranted. Let’s put the Unity back in our name and get our hands dirty again. We are losing our craftsmanship-Take pride in what you can create. Why not instill some work ethic back in our youth? It will give them a break from all of these screens at the least.Love your Country.

frogurt429 11/03/2010 11:19pm

this sounds like unnecessary radical totalitarian practices being forced upon free peoples. i thought we learned our lesson in vietnam, this sounds like 5x the vietnam draft

Sal_The_Tiller 09/28/2010 9:51pm

So has this died in committee? Or is it just taking a long time?

ianiam 08/17/2010 4:41pm

εγο ειμι ο δοθλοσ

wbg2271 08/11/2010 2:19am
I can’t believe that 28 people think this is a good bill,sorry

29 forgot about Rangel.

Eightbitgnosis 08/03/2010 11:25am

This is the scary kind of insanity

jeremia 07/30/2010 5:26pm

I wonder how those who work in this Three Ring Circus (Schoolhouse Rock was right) — Executive, Legistlative, and Judicial — will write themselves and their families out of this one.

kinge48 07/30/2010 3:16pm

For all who fail to realize it; which apparently includes Rep. Rangel, this would be involuntary servitude. Why is this such an important distinction to make you ask? Because it is Constitutionally ILLEGAL! I would like to ask Rep. Rangel to read the United States Constitution (you know, that document you swore to uphold when you took office?), specifically the Thirteenth Amendment. To help in this endeavor I’ll place it here so it is easy for you (and everyone else) to find:

“Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

Uphold freedom from slavery, and dismiss this unconstitutional bill.

AliciaBlake 07/29/2010 9:10pm

How is this bill reconciled with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?” You can’t pass a bill into law that requires service in the armed forces or another branch of the government (ie homeland security and what-not) and then deny gays and lesbiens the option of serving openly. As a vet, I know that I would much rather have an openly gay airman serving next to me than someone who has no desire to put their life on the line for our country and simply is serving the minimum time to meet the legal requirements. We need men and women who are serving our country for the right reasons.

vigilant1 07/29/2010 1:23pm

I didn’t see anything in the text of the bill that said a person would be paid for this service, and even if they were it would just mean more people on the government payroll.

This bill would give the President way to much power and too much latitude in how to enforce it. If you disagree with the powers that be you get sent to the front lines, you lick their boots you get a better assignment.

Wake up people this is definitely socialism in the making.

Foryourfreedomandours 07/29/2010 10:01am
in reply to ExOrienteLux Jul 25, 2010 7:10pm

Don’t you leave, make the tyrants leave!

Foryourfreedomandours 07/29/2010 10:00am
in reply to iStephanieSays Jul 23, 2010 9:30am

Actually the 2nd amendment protects you from slavery, all the other amendments are hot air without the ability to defend yourself from tyranny.

jemc50 07/28/2010 1:10pm

This is an unnecessary bill and a waste of Congress’ time. The U.S. already has a Selective Service system for a draft to be reinstated in an emergency. The U.S. already has a multitude of volunteer programs (i.e. Peace Corps, VISTA, etc.). A two year stint in the military would be a huge waste of time and money, since an individual would just be getting to a point of being an asset to the service they would be getting out.

invictusaequitas 07/28/2010 11:34am
in reply to Somfbah Jul 28, 2010 8:40am


I’m almost certain the likes of Rangel and his boys would find a way to make an argument for how only the oppressive white-male majority will be affected by this bill.

invictusaequitas 07/28/2010 11:32am
in reply to bunbun Jul 28, 2010 6:22am

“at the same time you accept the benefits and protections of being a u.s. citizen you have necessarily surrendered a large chunk of your individual sovereignty to the republic and its government”

This is unconstitutional and sounds like something Hitler or that nut-job in Iran would say. The government is responsible for protecting its citizenry, in this country specifically, and has no right to and does not own our bodies. Suggesting otherwise is a major flaw.

Now, being a relatively reasonable person, I understand that while this ISN’T SUPPOSED to be the case, sadly, doesn’t mean that it actually is; I understand entirely what you’re saying.

invictusaequitas 07/28/2010 11:29am
in reply to bunbun Jul 28, 2010 6:22am

You mean like how those who WILLINGLY sign on to serve in the military are paid? Monetary appeals are moot. This is a question of personal freedoms being ignored and trampled on, yet again, at the whim of government. Funny how a man of Rangel’s age berates those who support war and oppose this bill, yet he too is safe from legislation such as this.

invictusaequitas 07/28/2010 11:26am
in reply to tobyw Jul 28, 2010 4:11am

You listened to Glenn Beck yesterday as well, eh Toby? :)

Not a HUGE fan of Beck, but I’m not an opponent of his either; alot of what he says is true and makes a lot of sense. I applaud your comment.

invictusaequitas 07/28/2010 11:24am
in reply to superpeople Jul 27, 2010 8:03pm

“if those calling for war knew that their children were likely to be required to serve”

This statement, the most central point made in your post, sets up a false scenario because it presents a hypothetical scenario; this is NOT the case, and Rangel’s supposition, therefore, has no grounds. Many calling fow have served or have children who, in fact, do currently serve in our military. This statement suggests, in my opinion, that NO one who would have to pay a personal cost for war would therefore be inclined to volunteer themselves or their loved ones for service. In fact, the opposite is true. Those who serve in the military are well aware of the fact that combat is always a possibility, if not a probability. This is a weak statement, and actually demeans those we willingly choose to serve in the U.S military, as well as their families. It’s nonsense.

invictusaequitas 07/28/2010 11:18am
in reply to taradawes Jul 27, 2010 7:47pm


Though there is a clause in the bill that essentially seems to protect against this notion, one cannot help wonder how quickly and easily that provision would be laid to waste as soon as the government deems such an act necessary. If they can pass a bill like this, and NOT AZ’s SB1070, we’re in serious trouble. I concur with what you say here. The founders of this country have to be turning in their graves.

Somfbah 07/28/2010 8:40am

Will this include illegals? They get our benefits…. just saying.

bunbun 07/28/2010 6:22am

compulsory service levels the playing field as long as everyone has to do it. i do not believe that hawkish politicians could sell their wars as easily if every single family and household, including their own, was in service. a general draft would make anti-war critiques much more powerful and convincing because we would all be personally affected by waging war. as it stands now it is easy to brush off nay saying tree hugging pacifist stoner hippies because they don’t know anything about serving their country. a draft would mobilize a much more pervasive and respected anti-war movement extremely quickly. i wouldn’t worry about this passing congress.

at the same time you accept the benefits and protections of being a u.s. citizen you have necessarily surrendered a large chunk of your individual sovereignty to the republic and its government. nothing new to see here.

bunbun 07/28/2010 6:22am

i wonder if we would get paid for serving. if we were to get paid, i’d much rather support 2 years of service like this than the 2 years of unemployment benefits we just bought.

tobyw 07/28/2010 4:11am

Terrible on several counts. It is a potential way to punish and control dissenters. It is potentially a “reeducation camp”. It is a way to undermine the all volunteer army and fill it with selected anti-military liberals and worse. It is a way to force the military to accept gays and gay marriage if the military thinks it unwise (do we need 4 restrooms and showers instead of 2?).

SteveHorth 07/28/2010 4:03am

If any of the existing members of Congress feel a bit over-confident about their chances of securing a victory in the next election, then they should sign on as a co-sponser of this bill. That way their doom is ensured. This has to be the political equivilent to throwing an electric light into your own bathwater.

hardkoreferrari 07/28/2010 2:09am

Isn’t democracy about us, the PEOPLE, electing officials to represent us, and basically do what WE want them to do? Not the other way around. As far as I knew, I was supposed to be living in a free country, where no one, not even my government can force me to do anything.

superpeople 07/27/2010 8:03pm

“The guy had been trying to introduce this bill since 2003….. knowing it would never pass.

“Rangel himself argued that the point of his bill was to express his opposition to the war in Iraq. In an editorial in The New York Times, Rangel said “if those calling for war knew that their children were likely to be required to serve—and to be placed in harm’s way—there would be more caution and a greater willingness to work with the international community in dealing with Iraq.””

taradawes 07/27/2010 7:47pm

This bill is ridiculous – if the government wants to promote people to do civil service and join the military that is fine – fund a program that would enable new civil service JOBS to be created not force people to join the government workforce or the military. I greatly admire anyone willing to join the military and fight for my freedoms, but I am not a military person nor do I wish to work for the US government, it’s my choice as an American to stay at home and take care of my house and my husband and one day my children. If this bill were to pass (and I pray it won’t make it very far before it’s thrown out) what would happen to all the stay at home mothers, will they just have to leave their kids with daycare and let them be raised there while they go off to fight a war or “serve their country” in some other capacity – the whole thing is quite ridiculous.

invictusaequitas 07/27/2010 7:08pm

This bill absurd. Please read the 2 responses I’ve written above. We must all take personal responsibility and write our representatives. I’m tired of being silent while this government steals my personal liberties. We are becoming a nation all too comfortable with allowing this goverment to overstep its boundaries. They work for us, not the other way around.

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ’I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Ronald Reagan, the last decent President of this country.

invictusaequitas 07/27/2010 7:00pm
in reply to andoh666 Jul 27, 2010 5:09pm

Patriotism, Mr. 666, is a willful and conscious act of selflessness. Handing down a mandate to the people ‘for their benefit’ is scary business. This, again, is the state telling you and me that they know what’s best for us, and they are sorely mistaken and are clearly overstepping their boundaries.

Helping people is an act of selflessness, it’s not the state’s business to force people to do the right thing and is WHY selfless acts of kindness have substance and mean something in first place. A mandate cheapens these acts. I don’t want anyone to do anything for me that isn’t in their heart to do. I’d much rather be shown compassion, which is defined only by being a genuine act, than to be a number on a governmentally mandated list of have-to’s. My body, as well as yours, is not property of the state or the American government. You can’t FORCE people to be patriots, sir, and by attempting to, you denigrate the honor and service of those who actually are.

invictusaequitas 07/27/2010 6:51pm
in reply to lindywhip Jul 27, 2010 10:34am

People are opposed to it because it’s infringing on their personal and civil rights. My body doesn’t belong to the state. Have you read a Brave New World? I suggest you do so. I’m not mokcking you and am not instigating or trying to sound condescending, honestly. I’m suggesting to you that the state, the powers that be, have no right or authority to mandate civil service. They have no right to mandate health insurance, either. It is their sole obligation to see to it that my rights are protected and this country is protected from foreign and domestic terrorists. Other than that, they really should stay out of our lives. Many people feel this way and this bill represents nothing more than the state’s ‘will to power’. It’s eerily reminiscent of Hitler’s youth ‘movement’. This is nothing short of a vulgar display of power.

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