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Friday Field Notes banner image: Featuring engaging stories from practitioners about how partnerships with Cooperative Extension help build Community Capacity to support military service men and women and their families.

As the Outdoor Rx series comes to an end, we want to emphasize how nature-based recreation is beneficial for the general population, but even more so for military families.  Luckily, military families have easy access to a program that promotes wellness through leisure, entertainment, and adventure: Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR).

Service members make countless sacrifices to defend our country.  MWR is a program that gives back to service members and their families by bringing leisure activities to them on their installations in safe environments with the whole family in mind.  MWR funds activities that you may already be familiar with like swimming pools, movie theaters, bowling alleys.  But they also fund parks and recreation, family fitness, golf courses, and even travel and vacation.

Biking Trail

Service members can work long hours while spouses and other family members take care of the home front.  Planning recreational activities for a day off can seem like more work sometimes.  That’s why MWR works to bring recreation to military families that includes members of all ages and requires little to no travel time.  However, if you’re in the mood for an adventure off of base, MWR has that covered too with the Information, Tickets, and Travel office.  They’ll help you book a cruise for the family or find national parks that offer military discounts.

Environmental total force fitness

MWR is also a way to promote positive aspects of Total Force Fitness (TFF).  In this series, we previously focused on the environmental domain of TFF, which only mentions negative aspects of the environment (i.e., altitude, heat, cold, air quality).  Although surviving in harsh environments is essential for military personnel, it is also crucial to emphasize positive interactions.  MWR helps promote these interactions between the environment and military families.  Not surprisingly, these positive connections can in turn impact other domains of TFF, such as spiritual, behavioral, physical, and psychological fitness.

Get Involved!

Each branch of the military has a unique MWR program.  Check out yours below and see how you and your family can benefit from programs on your installation!



Marine Corps

Air Force

Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, some MWR events and activities are temporarily suspended.  Following CDC guidelines, fitness centers are closed, and restaurants are either closed or offering take-out only.  At the above links, you can find your installation as well as what MWR activities are still available.