National service has a long history in America. From the early colonies with their citizen soldiers, to religious organizations and social service, to modern day members of conservation corps and AmeriCorps, individuals have contributed important work for the benefit of their community and country. A more recent focus in the 20th century, initiated by William James' "Moral Equivalent of War" and carried out in the 1993 National Service Trust Act, has accelerated an interest in the concepts and practice of national service.
Shumer, Robert D. and Cady, Jane Maland, "National Service: Expectation Versus Reality" (1997). Service Learning, General. 59.