MWR programs have historical lineage but uncertain future
By Maj. Chip Hollinger, 509th Force Support Squadron commander
/ Published January 30, 2015
WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- As community partners, your continued support of Whiteman Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) programs is crucial.
The MWR fund supports so many programs around the base, including the library, the club system, the child development center, the bowling alley, the golf course, the auto hobby shop, outdoor recreation, the archery range, and many more programs that we all use all the time!
Who reading this can say you have never used those programs - ever? What about your families? Probably not very many of us.
As such it is important that you understand that a significant portion of the funds for MWR programs come from members of Team Whiteman joining the club and from others renewing their memberships there.
As we work collectively to enhance MWR programs within our community, consider joining the Mission's End Club. Our club is the central meeting place within our community; in essence, Mission's End is the civic center where, as a community, we gather to celebrate accomplishments, achievements, interact with our community partners, and host senior leader engagements.
To encourage your commitment, we are transforming the traditional "club card" to a "MWR Advantage Card" designed to facilitate membership, community support, and pride in being a Team Whiteman MWR Stakeholder. The MWR Advantage Card will provide opportunities for discounts in recreational (Category C) activities such as golf, bowling, outdoor recreation, and of the course the club; it extends our appreciation to our current members as well as enhances recruitment of new members.
Your continued, active, MWR partnership is critical to taking care of our people and families, growing Airman leaders, and sustaining an environment that is healthy and fun.
What you also might not know is that the history of MWR activities and non-appropriated funds (NAF) dates back to the American Revolution. The American Articles of War of 1775 provided for civilian merchants whose mission was to sustain the individual personal needs of service members. These civilian merchants provided many of the products now found in our Base Exchange or resale activities. Later, a portion of the profits generated from those sales were reinvested into what we would now define as MWR programs.
So it is clear our MWR programs have a long and storied history. The question now is, what will their future be like? And that depends on you and your support. So go visit the club, ask the questions you may have, learn about all the great benefits, and do your part to support our MWR programs.