About Mission Serve
Mission Serve is ServiceNation’s civilian-military initiative. The initiative strives to bring the civilian community together with the military community though shared service and volunteerism.
It is our hope that someday in this country a commonly asked question will be “Where do you serve?” In other words, when you meet a new person, you may ask, “Where are you from?”, “Where did you go to school?” and “Where do you serve?” We would all hold the expectation that any American has most likely spent some time in their life serving.
The answer to this question might be “I serve as a mentor for children at a neighborhood youth center.” It could be, “I spent one summer during college participating in an AmeriCorps service program.” Or one may say, “I spent three years in the Army.” Whatever the answer, we will recognize that each of these people has served their country and their community with honor and dedication.
Service is service, whether it is in the military, in a national service role, or as a volunteer. And it’s important to ServiceNation that we recognize all forms of service as comparable and similar. For this reason, we focus on both military service and civilian service, and—more importantly—on the intersection between the two.
The Mission Serve Initiative
At the ServiceNation Summit in 2008, as Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, addressed the large crowd, he said,
"I am convinced that there is a Sea of Goodwill out there, made up of people, places, programs, all eagerly seeking and serving those in need. Our challenge, however, lies in connecting these programs not only to those who need help, but to each other. And you’re doing that. And, we must make these connections every single day, on a regular basis, and indeed in many ways better than we are doing today. That is why ServiceNation is so important; that is why you’re so important. And I hope that in addition to service that you’re also all brave recruiters for those who will also serve."
We heard Admiral Mullen’s challenge, and were inspired to create an initiative that would focus on military members, veterans, and their families, as a large population of Americans who have not only served our country, but who are willing and able to continue serving here at home.
The Mission Serve initiative was launched on Veterans Day 2009. ServiceNation was joined by First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, and Mrs. Alma Powell to celebrate 36 newly formed civilian-military partnerships. This day was the jumping off point for a program that continues to forge new relationships, unique collaborations, and critical convenings to engage the military and veteran communities.
Veterans Day: “A Call to Serve”
Each year on November 11th, ServiceNation hosts a series of service projects across the country as part of the Mission Serve initiative. Through these high profile service projects we bring together our partners for a day of service, we engage veterans and civilians side-by-side in service, and we shine a light on the greater movement of service as it applies to the military community.
We believe that these is no better way to say thank you to those who have served in the military and as military family members than to serve alongside them here at home. And through our efforts, we hope to establish Veterans Day as a day of both celebration and service.
On Veterans Day we also present our annual Mission Serve Award for Excellence in Civilian-Military Service to recognize individuals who have shown extraordinary leadership in service between the civilian and military communities. Past recipients include:
Mrs. Alma Powell, 2009
Senator Mark Warner, 2010
GEN Stanley McChrystal, 2011
Mrs. Patty Shinseki, 2011
Learn more about past Veterans Day celebrations.
Strategic Goals of the Mission Serve Initiative
- To engage civilians, veterans, military servicemembers, and military families, in service to meet the critical needs of our nation—in particular, the needs of the military community
- To better integrate our nation’s military community alongside the civilian community through service.
Who We Are
ServiceNation — a campaign of Be the Change, Inc. — strives to increase service opportunities and elevate service as a core ideal and problem-solving strategy in our society.
Greg Propper – Executive Director, ServiceNation
Chris Marvin – Director, Civilian-Military Partnerships, ServiceNation
Meet the rest of our team