The military Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) program offers bargains in recreation, relaxation and vacations for military service members all over the world. Also, many corporations are ready and willing to offer substantial discounts to active duty military and veterans.
Before they were famous, many truly influential men and women started by serving their country in the US military or grew up in military families.

How Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Can Stretch Your Military Pay

Your military budget may be tight, but there's no reason to go without the finer things in life.

First, there are many corporations ready and willing to offer substantial discounts to active duty military and veterans. Be sure to mention your military status whenever you are buying any goods or services.

Second, the military Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) program offers bargains in recreation, relaxation and vacations for military service members all over the world. Because MWR provides top-quality goods and services for a good deal less than civilians pay for similar services, taking advantage of MWR can add a lot of value to your military lifestyle.

Here are some MWR opportunities you'll want to check out.


Community Centers, Community Activity Centers or "Rec Centers" offer everything from concert tickets, to tours, to martial arts lessons. Costs of classes and lessons range from $20.00 to $50.00 per month. If you're planning a trip to Vegas or Disney World or another well-known attraction, check your Community Center for discount tickets.


The military club offers a good place to host parties and private functions. The membership fee is typically about $8.00 per month for enlisted servicemembers and $20.00+ per month for officers.


Geared mainly toward full-time daycare for children, military Child Development Centers are an important service for the two working-parent military household. Prices for childcare here are always substantially less than off-base Child Development Centers.


Armed Forces Recreation Centers can be located in beautiful vacation resort spots, in places like as exotic as Hawaii, as unusual as South Korea, and as popular as Disney World. Plan your military leave far enough in advance to take advantage of these special AFRC military resort prices and facilities.


Military bowling alleys are much like the local bowling alley off-base. A majority of military bowling alleys today are modernized with synthetic lanes and computerized scoring systems.


At a military Aero Club, you can get your private pilot's license for $60.00 per hour. Since it takes about 40 hours of flight time plus ground school to gain a private pilot's license, the cost of a private pilot's license from the military Aero Club is about $4,160. Aero Clubs may be phased out of the military MWR system so if you are interested in getting your private pilot's license, check your Aero Club now.


The Youth Activity Center offers recreational activities for military kids between from ages 6 to 17. Most Military Youth Centers offer sports and physical fitness, social and recreational activities/skills, personal development, day camps and teen programs.


Depending on your military service branch, military base gyms can be anything from a single room with some weights to a full-blown fitness facility. Most base gyms are free to active duty personnel. On base gyms are also the place for military sports programs, anything from intramural sport teams to full-time Olympic/National Championships training and preparation.


MWR hobby shops offer inexpensive and professional tools and facilities for hobbies including everything from basic pottery to wood working to auto-repair. Rates are dependent upon the equipment and facilities.


Military libraries may not be as extensive or up-to-date as off-base libraries, but they are highly appreciated and well-used service, especially overseas where there are few alternatives.

Depending upon your military base and branch of service, there may be other MWR services offered such as horseback riding, outdoor recreation rentals, etc. MWR activities can leverage your military pay nicely, even for today's budget-conscious military families. You don't need to cut out all luxuries; MWR offers easy access to the extras that can add a lot to your lifestyle and can still fit well within your military budget.


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