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Tools for Leaders/Command

Morale, Welfare & Recreation

Service members canoeing on a river


Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs are an integral part of the military pay and benefits package and they ensure high quality, consistent community support. Programs are classified into three categories that determine how they are funded: mission-essential programs, community support programs and revenue generators.

Program highlights

  • Category A - Mission-essential programs, funded almost entirely with appropriated funds, include fitness, sports, libraries, single service member programs and deployment support. Warfighter and family support programs are now approved as category A, MWR activities at service discretion.
  • Category B - Community support programs, funded significantly with appropriated funds, include outdoor recreation, recreation centers, leisure tours and travel, auto hobby, child and youth development programs and skill development programs.
  • Category C - Revenue generators, funded almost entirely with nonappropriated funds, include food, beverage, entertainment, military clubs, golf courses, bowling centers, marinas and gaming machines.


Unlimited use of MWR programs and services is authorized to active-duty service members and their families (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard), reserves (Individual Ready Reserve, National Guard, reservist in training); cadets of service and merchant marine academies; active duty commissioned corps of the public health service and commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, retirees from active duty and reserves, honorably discharged veterans with 100 percent disability, Medal of Honor recipients; Department of Defense and Coast Guard civilians (when stationed outside the United States), and former and surviving spouses. Based on local demand and capacity, installation commanders may grant eligibility to DoD civilians and their families stationed inside the United States, DoD contract personnel, other federal employees, guests and members of the general public and other categories.


These programs are available worldwide on military installations and online.

More information


Branch Support Services
Department of Defense Policy
Department of Defense Service Regulations and Orders
Boating, Bowling, Golf, Stables, and Special Interest Programs Info Paper
Fitness and Sports Info Paper
Hospitality and Lodging Info Paper
Individual Skill Development Info Paper
Information, Tickets, and Tours Info Paper
Libraries Info Paper
Outdoor Recreation Info Paper
Outreach to Active Duty, Guard, and Reserve Info Paper
Recreation Centers Info Paper
Single Service Member Programs Info Paper
Warfighter and Family Services Info Paper
Additional Resources


Snowboarding. If you’re a parent, you’ve heard it: “I’m bored.” But, with Morale, Welfare and Recreation, there’s no such thing. Give your children opportunities to get active, out of the house and involved in their communities.

Stack of books. If you thought no-cost audiobooks and eBooks were just military community urban legends, think again. The Morale, Welfare and Recreation online library resources deliver a variety of genres and titles right to your fingertips. Start reading today, and don’t forget to snag a few titles before your next move or summer vacation.

Flower on lilypads This two-hour webinar will explore current research findings linked to burnout and wellness for mental health clinicians. The presentation will include burnout prevention and wellness strategies used to promote a more mindful work-life balance. Continuing education units are available.




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