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Morale, Welfare and Recreation Program

Definition/Scope: (AR 215-1) The Army MWR program is a quality-of-life program that directly supports readiness by providing a variety of community, Soldier, and Family support programs, activities, and services. Included are social, fitness, recreational, educational, and other programs and activities that enhance community life, foster Soldier and unit readiness, promote mental and physical fitness, and generally provide a working and living environment that attracts and retains quality Soldiers. b. The range of MWR programs offered at Army garrisons is based on the needs of authorized patrons who work and reside there. Programs are managed by garrison commanders within the framework of authorized and available APFs and nonappropriated funds (NAFs). NAFs are those funds that are locally generated by MWR programs or provided by Region directors and/or the Army Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund (AMWRF). c. Each MWR program is classified by category. Categories are determined by their effect on the military mission and their ability to generate revenue. Categories are determined by their effect on the military mission and their ability to generate revenue. The categories are mission-sustaining programs, community support programs, and revenue-generating programs. Some of the more well known facilities include: Hale Koa Hotel Armed Forces Recreation Center, Honolulu, Hawaii; Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, Garmisch, Germany; Dragon Hill Center and Lodge, Seoul, Korea; and the Armed Forces Recreation Center–Orlando (Shades of Green), Orlando, Florida. Each service has their own version of MWR that is similar to the Army. MWR in history started on the battlefields of World War I, where behind the lines, Salvation Army sisters and Red Cross volunteers ministered to the needs of soldiers as the forerunners of today’s morale, welfare and recreation specialists. After the war was over, funding stopped and morale programs were mothballed. It wasn’t until July 1940 that the Morale Division - later named Special Services - was established within the Adjutant General’s Office. Between 1946 and 1955, the core recreation programs were established and staffed by a combination of active duty military and civilians. Until the mid - 1980s, active duty enlisted soldiers and officers held military occupational specialties in Special Services and were assigned at every level of command. As those occupational specialties were discontinued, civilians continued to operate MWR programs with military oversight. Special Services underwent much reorganization and had many names before coming to its present configuration. In November 1984 the U.S. Army Community and Family Support Center was established as the headquarters for MWR operations providing oversight and policy support, and also running certain specialy programs such as contracting, financial management, and other services, as well as operating management of the Armed Forces Recreation Centers and other special projects. The Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command was established by the Department of the Army 24 October 2006, and has evolved from these early beginnings.



Broader Terms:


Narrower Terms:

community support programs
mission-sustaining programs
MWR programs
real property
revenue-generating programs

Related Terms:

appropriated funds
nonappropriated fund instrumentalities
nonappropriated funds

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