Morale, Welfare and Recreation: Your Source for Affordable Fun

group of people in recreation center pool

Military life has many demands, so morale, welfare and recreation staff want to help you make the most of your free time. MWR is the military’s network of support and leisure programs for service members. On- or off-installation, morale, welfare and recreation provides lots of ways for you to connect with friends and others for entertainment, rest and relaxation — all at reduced or no cost.

R&R on the installation

At military installations around the world, you’ll find a lot to do and enjoy, including:

  • Swimming pools: Cool off and relax with recreational swimming. Sign up for swimming lessons, or join an aquatic fitness class for aerobic, low-impact workouts.
  • Bowling facilities: Get a few friends together for some games or buddy-up by joining a league.
  • Golf courses: From nine holes to full-scale, PGA-quality links, installation golf courses offer fun and fitness at affordable prices. Some locations also offer driving ranges, putting greens and lessons.
  • Recreation centers: Many centers help you connect with family and friends with free Wi-Fi and computer use. Or unwind with billiards, air hockey, foosball, table tennis, Xbox, PlayStations and board games. You’ll also find a large library of movies and big-screen TVs to watch them on.
  • Trails: Morale, welfare and recreation staff can recommend great local trails where you can hike, bike or take a relaxing walk in nature.
  • Auto skills centers: Most installations have Automotive Skills Centers where you can maintain or repair your vehicle. For a minimal fee, you can use work bays, vehicle lifts, and a broad selection of tools. You can also get advice from certified mechanics.
  • Libraries: Check out a bestseller, read a magazine article or study for an upcoming test with library resources. Visit your installation library or log on to your Military OneSource account to access the MWR Digital Library from anywhere in the world.
  • Movie theaters: See the latest movies at prices lower than those at the commercial chains. Now showing: all your favorite genres and some in 3D.
  • Outdoor and recreation rental centers: Need outdoor gear for a few hours or a few days? Rental centers offer campers, canoes and kayaks, canopy tents, tables and chairs, grills, garden equipment and much more.
  • Camping or glamping: Find your Zen at a tent, yurt, cabin, hotel or recreational vehicle campsite in any of the 50 states. Go to the Best Kept Secrets: Joint Services Campgrounds and Facilities guide and search by state to find the rustic or luxury  site that’s right for you.

See what morale, welfare and recreation offers at your own installation.

R&R off the installation

Off-installation adventures start with your installation’s Information, Tickets and Travel office outdoor recreation office. They’ll give you the scoop on sporting events, theme parks, aquariums, zoos, historical sites and other attractions, both near and far. They’re also good for discount tickets and vacation planning services. Or use your MWR benefit online with www.AmericanForcesTravel.com, this is your access to discounted airfare, hotels, car rentals, cruises and event tickets.

Be sure to check out these great off-installation opportunities:

2021 Blue Star Museums

The 2021 Blue Star Museums program begins on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 15, 2021, and ends Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6, 2021.

  • Lodging at recreational facilities, hotels and resorts around the world. Enjoy a cottage on the beach, a mountaintop retreat or a five-star resort with all the luxuries, both stateside and overseas.
  • America the Beautiful passes offer free access to national parks — go hike, climb, ski, surf, stargaze or relax.
  • Blue Star Museums allow you to soak up history, science or culture across the country — for free.
  • American Forces TravelSM offers military discounts on hotels, flights, rental cars, vacation and cruise packages, event tickets and more.

Veterans Can Save Too

Beginning July 16, 2021, the Department of Defense is expanding online American Forces Travel shopping to include honorably discharged veterans.

Remember, each service branch has its own morale, welfare and recreation program. See what’s in store for you:

Morale, welfare and recreation is your destination for entertainment, rest and relaxation on or off the installation. Visit your local office for more information or call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647.

Get Military Discounts on Vacations Through American Forces Travel℠

Scenic view of tropical cliff surrounded by ocean.

There’s a convenient, online leisure travel booking website created exclusively for members of the U.S. military community: American Forces Travel℠.

American Forces Travel℠ is designed to be a one-stop travel booking site. A joint service initiative, it offers military discounts and helps fund other current and future MWR programs.

Find vacation deals with American Forces Travel℠.

Find great vacation savings while supporting your favorite MWR programs with American Forces Travel℠ — give it a try.

Find discounts for hotels, rental cars, flights, packages, event tickets and cruises through American Forces Travel℠

American Forces Travel℠ lets service members, their families, veterans and DOD civilians book their leisure travel and vacations completely online, and at a discount, through its service provider, Priceline. Potential bookings include:

  • Flights inside and outside the U.S. (no booking fees; reduced fees for reservation changes)
  • Hotels around the world (access to more than 1.2 million properties)
  • Rental cars (free cancellation on postpaid cars; book prepaid rates for larger discounts)
  • Vacation packages (more than 56,000 hotels with discounted rates, unique trip planning tool)
  • Cruises (exclusive deals on top cruise lines)
  • No-fee tickets for concerts and sporting and theater events through the Secondary Ticket Marketplace

Military travelers using American Forces Travel℠ experience significant savings. By booking through American Forces Travel℠, users get:

  • Hotel rooms for up to 60% off
  • Cruise packages with up to 80% savings
  • Discounts on car rentals averaging $10-$18 per day

In general, military community members booking through American Forces Travel℠ enjoy lower booking fees, have a best-price guarantee and get deals on prepaid car rentals.

Priceline will not charge for bookings or cancellations. But while Priceline is waiving all its fees, suppliers may have their own fees, terms and conditions.

Note the changes due to coronavirus disease 2019

Due to COVID-19 circumstances, some travel product inventory has been reduced or may change. Refer to the following for the most current information on AFT products:

American Forces Travel℠ eligibility

Anyone who can use MWR programs and services can use American Forces Travel℠, including active-duty military, National Guard and reserve, U.S. Coast Guard, retired military, eligible family members, DOD appropriated fund and nonappropriated fund civilians. For a full list of eligible patrons, click “Who is Eligible” on the American Forces Travel℠ webpage.

Eligibility expanded to veterans!

American Forces Travel℠ shopping privileges expanded to honorably discharged veterans as of July 16, 2021.

Honorably discharged veterans are also eligible to make purchases through American Forces TravelSM as a way to recognize them and thank them for their service.

To access AFT as an honorably discharged veteran:

  • Visit AmericanForcesTravel.com.
  • Follow the prompts to verify your eligibility.
  • If the system cannot verify you initially, use the VETVerify option and follow the prompts.

To verify your eligibility, the website will check the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System. Once you are approved, you can book your next vacation to destinations throughout the world, while supporting the MWR programs on your installation.

Support MWR programs through American Forces Travel℠

In addition to improving access to DOD’s MWR benefits, every booking on American Forces Travel℠ generates revenue to support critical quality of life programs for service members and families.

Consider American Forces Travel℠ when arranging your leisure travel. It is the only official MWR leisure travel site and is supported under contract by Priceline.

Fitness Classes With Morale, Welfare and Recreation

Kickbox class

From high-intensity aerobic workouts to relaxing yoga, your installation’s fitness center has classes for everyone at every level. Classes are available for little or no cost to anyone who can access the gym through the Morale, Welfare and Recreation program. Use the classes as primary fitness tools or supplement your current routine. Bring the family and make fitness a fun habit. If you’re hesitant or unsure that group fitness is right for you, consider what you could get out of the classes:

  • Team atmosphere — Participating in a group fitness class gets you in a room with similarly motivated people. In the classes, you may be able to help a classmate reach a fitness goal or learn a new skill, while challenging yourself to keep pace with a more advanced classmate. Often, the atmosphere is enthusiastic and supportive, which can help you take on new challenges and celebrate success. Plus, you benefit from the motivation of a dedicated instructor. And if you’re taking the class as a family, you’ve got a ready-made team.
  • Accountability — Just the act of signing up for a class is often enough to create a sense of accountability, which will likely grow as you get to know your instructor and your classmates. When you find a class that fits your needs, you can hold your classmates accountable for missing classes, and they might do the same for you.
  • New exercises — Trying a new group fitness class might be just what you’ve been looking for to break out of your everyday routine. If you’re searching for a completely new workout or simply a few fresh exercises, you can benefit from the installation fitness instructors who create challenging workouts to re-energize you. Try something new and you might discover a new favorite workout.
  • Workout partner — If you’re just beginning your fitness journey, a workout partner can help you reach your goals. You may find others who are working toward similar lifestyle changes, such as increasing exercise, kicking unhealthy habits, losing weight or starting a healthier diet. You can motivate each other and offer support along the way. And if you are working out with your family, you can motivate one another before, during and after a class.

Check out the group fitness schedule for your installation’s fitness center and join a class today.

Morale, Welfare and Recreation – Coast Guard

American flag

This page includes information on Morale, Welfare and Recreation for the Coast Guard.

Coast Guard Morale, Well-Being and Recreation — The Coast Guard Morale, Well-Being and Recreation program provides recreational opportunities to eligible personnel through customer-driven programs and services.

Coast Guard Armed Forces Sports — The Coast Guard participates in Armed Forces Sports as a member, with the exception of rugby, of the Navy Sports teams.

Coast Guard Recreational Lodging — Coast Guard Recreational Lodging offers more than 25 recreational destinations across the United States at a reduced cost for eligible personnel.

Morale, Welfare and Recreation – Air Force

American flag

This page includes information on Morale, Welfare and Recreation for the Air Force.

United States Air Force Services — United States Air Force Services provides eligible patrons with recreation and leisure programs as well as family member and community services programs.

Air Force Sports — Air Force Sports allows active duty, National Guard and reserve Air Force personnel to participate in Air Force, armed forces, national and international sports events.

Air Force Libraries — Air Force Libraries provide eligible patrons with internet access, reading rooms, reference books and media and collections of fiction and nonfiction literature.

Air Force Arts and Crafts — This program provides military personnel and their families with activities in fine arts and industrial arts. The arts and crafts centers provide hands-on instruction and group instruction.

Air Force Information, Tickets and Travel — The Air Force Information, Tickets and Travel website provides service members with information on resorts, cruises and tour destinations for recreational travel.

Air Force Aero Clubs — Air Force Aero Clubs provide a safe venue for learning to fly and also provide the opportunity to fly light general aviation aircraft.

Air Force Golf — The Air Force Golf program operates and maintains more than 60 golf courses around the world, offering open rounds of golf and instructional courses for beginners.

Morale, Welfare and Recreation – Army

American flag

This page includes information on Morale, Welfare and Recreation for the Army.

Army Morale, Welfare and Recreation — Army Morale, Welfare and Recreation provides support and leisure services designed to enhance the lives of soldiers (active, reserve and Guard), their families, civilian employees, military retirees and other eligible participants.

Army Sports and Fitness — These programs provide eligible patrons with the opportunity to participate in a full range of individual and team sports.

Army Libraries — Army Libraries is a worldwide network of more than 125 libraries offering services such as story hours for children, book discussion groups, internet access, word processing, reference books and online reference resources and collections of fiction and nonfiction literature.

Army Entertainment — Army Entertainment produces a variety of programs featuring competitive soldier talent to include the U.S. Army Soldier Show, USA Express, Bravo! Army Theatre Touring Company, Army Entertainment competitions, the Army Concert Tour and Army Community Entertainment.

Army Outdoor Recreation — These programs provide eligible patrons with opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities such as rappelling, climbing, parasailing, camping, skeet and trap shooting, hiking and skiing and opportunities to rent outdoor recreation equipment.

Army Community Recreation Centers — Army Community Recreation Centers provide eligible patrons with opportunities for recreation through a mixture of self-directed and programmed activities such as darts, billiards, amusement machines, television, DVD movies, use of computers for internet service, club or organizational meetings and competitive events and tournaments.

Army Arts and Crafts Program — The Army Arts and Crafts Program provides eligible patrons with the opportunity to engage in skills development activities and tap into their creativity.

Army Automotive Skills Centers — Army Automotive Skills Centers provide eligible patrons with the opportunity to build life skills in automotive repair by offering facilities, tools, equipment and instruction.

Army Travel — This web page provides information and links to Army recreational lodging, Armed Forces Resorts, Armed Forces Vacation Club and other off-duty travel information.

Army Paths Across America — Army Paths Across America provides a guide to Army and other military recreational vehicle parks and campgrounds. It promotes recreational travel and to provide outdoor recreational opportunities for authorized users.

Army Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers — The Army Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program focuses on the well-being of single soldiers and opportunities for recreation and leisure, community service and communicating concerns to higher leadership.

Army Golf — The Army Golf program operates and maintains more than 50 golf courses in five different countries.

About Morale, Welfare and Recreation: Fun for Your Service Member and Family

Father helping daughter with goggles

Chances are you have heard of Morale, Welfare and Recreation, which provides quality-of-life programming for the military community. But you may not be aware of the breadth and depth of its offerings. From fitness and sports to tickets and travel, MWR has something to engage your service member during their free time.

What is Morale, Welfare and Recreation

Being mission-ready requires having downtime to relax, recharge and have fun. That’s why the U.S. military has long offered services to lift morale among service members. In the 1800s, installations housed retail and social outlets known as “Canteen Associations.” Over time, offerings grew to include restaurants, libraries, gymnasiums and more.

Today MWR offers nearly 5,000 leisure and support programs for service members, their families and other eligible personnel. These free or low-cost recreational opportunities include sports, recreation programs, youth activities, golf courses, bowling centers and more.

Your service member has access to MWR offerings whether they are stationed on an installation or off. Look up the MWR program at your service member’s installation for an overview of offerings.

Who can use MWR services and programs?

The following people have full access to MWR services and programs:

  • Active-duty service members
  • Members of the National Guard and reserves
  • Service academy and Merchant Marine cadets
  • Retired service members and their families
  • Honorably-discharged veterans with a 100% service-connected disability
  • Medal of Honor recipients
  • Unmarried surviving spouses and orphans of personnel who died on active duty or in retired status, or who were married to the service member for 20 years while they were on active duty
  • Department of Defense and Coast Guard civilians stationed outside the United States

MWR recreational programs

Depending on where your service member is stationed, services and activities may include:

  • Bowling alleys, golf courses, boating, horseback riding, scuba diving, flying
  • Classes in auto repair, woodworking, painting, photography, music and more
  • Equipment rental for camping, canoeing, fishing, hunting, skiing and more
  • Special programming for single service members ages 18 to 25, including trips, concerts and tours
  • Fitness, aquatics and sports programs – and if your service member isn’t near an installation, more than 3,000 YMCAs and private fitness facilities offer military memberships.

MWR outings and vacations

Your service member’s military ID is the pass to a range of free and low-cost adventures.

  • Information, Tickets and Travel. This office helps with vacation planning, offers discounted vacation packages and provides low-price tickets to sporting events, concerts and attractions.
  • Military lodging. This program is available to help your service member save money on vacation.
  • America the Beautiful Pass. Active-duty, National Guard and reservists are eligible for a free annual pass to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites, including national parks.
  • Blue Star Museums. Admission to museums across the country is free for service members and their families between Armed Forces Day in May and Labor Day in September.

The MWR Digital Library

Your service member will find a treasure trove of free resources through the MWR Digital Library. In addition to eBooks, audiobooks and magazines, your service member will find the following and much more:

  • Ancestry Library unlocks the story of your family through billions of U.S. and international records.
  • Kanopy offers a streaming service with more than 30,000 award-winning films and documentaries.
  • Mango Languages provides a language-learning program for more than 70 different foreign languages.
  • Universal Class offers lifelong learning courses across more than 30 subject areas.
  • Artistworks Music Lessons provides access to hundreds of video lessons for a range of musical instruments.

The MWR Digital Library is packed full of offerings for children and teenagers as well, including:

  • Tutor.com, which gives kids free access to online tutoring and homework help from live, expert tutors across more than 100 subjects.
  • ScienceFlix, which offers more than 50 complete units of study with hands-on science projects, videos and interactive features.
  • National Geographic offers issues dating back to 1888. National Geographic Kids and National Geographic: People, Animals, World offers text books, videos, maps and images.

Encourage your service member to visit the MWR Digital Library and browse its extensive offerings.

Your service member works hard. With access to MWR and its many programs and services, relaxing and having fun while off duty is convenient and affordable.