Fifth Force Proposal

Middlebury Friends Meeting minutes adoption of the following resolution.

Development of a National Peace and Service Academy and a Fifth Force of the National Service System:

Given the pressing need to enhance the existing global capacity for peace building and peace keeping, we request that the Legislature of the United States undertake the following actions:

1. Enhance the work of the National Institute for Peace through the establishment of a Four-Year National Peace and Service Academy to be located in Vermont and serving all 50 states and the US Territories. This Peace and Service Academy is designed to nurture leadership for programs such as the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps*VISTA, Youth Conservation Corps, Youth Build, the Fifth Force, and NGO programs providing peace building and relief work around the world. Each US Senator may nominate one man and one woman per year as students of the Academy. Those accepted receive full scholarships through the State Department, and, upon successful completion of the program, are eligible for leadership appointments.

2. Pilot test the concept of a Fifth Force of the National Security System that is dedicated to peace and community building activities. The Fifth Force has many structural similarities to the National Guard Program, but is dedicated to peace and community building prior to the outbreak of hostilities or after the military resolution of an armed conflict. Force members receive their training and do most of their enlisted work as community service teams in the US. After successful completion of a year long training program, peace and service teams are available to serve worldwide under the direction of the Secretary General of the United Nations, or at the request of the President of the United States. These teams are unarmed and practice non-violent methods of peace building and peace keeping.

3. Build strong linkages between the Fifth Force and programs designed to engage high school youth in community service activities. While Fifth Force teams serve in local communities, their work (environmental cleanup, development of affordable housing, care giving for vulnerable citizens, mediation and reconciliation) will provide an experiential learning opportunity for younger people to practice peace and community building. These linkages should be formalized and recognized with credit bearing courses for high school students in both traditional and alternative programs.