By Alyson Hansen
If you’ve attended an event at Fort Bragg, chances are Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation had something to do with it. FMWR is an integral part of life on Fort Bragg and they’re responsible for recreational areas around Fort Bragg and many special events.
So what is FMWR? How does it effect your life? FMWR got its start in World War I with Red Cross volunteers and Salvation Army sisters helping Soldiers with recreation and morale. It began as a way to help give Soldiers an outlet during war time, and it largely went away until World War II.
Around this time, it became known as the Morale Division. Recreation was staffed by military personnel and civilians, and it was again used as a way to keep up Soldier morale. Renamed as Special Services, it was run by military personnel until the 1980s.
Around this time, Soldiers were being taken out of the Special Services and those jobs were being given to civilians instead. After numerous restructures, name changes and organizational changes, the FMWR became what we think of it now.
FMWR is responsible for 70 libraries across seven countries, do-it-yourself maintenance shops on installations and fitness and sports programs, to name a few.
Today, FMWR is part of the United States Army Installation Management Command. IMCOM is responsible for the day-to-day operations of U.S. Army installations around the world such as fire, police and child care. They are the parent to FMWR.
The FMWR is about providing and managing programs and services that support resilience and readiness for Soldiers and their Families.
FMWR on Fort Bragg
FMWR is responsible for so many things that Soldiers and Families enjoy on Fort Bragg. On top of recreation opportunities, FMWR at Bragg is responsible for many unique places and events.
Cleland Ice Rink is the only ice skating rink in the Department of Defense system. FMWR oversees the rink and programs, which include hockey and figure skating as well as public ice time.
Fort Bragg holds one of the largest Fourth of July celebrations in the Department of Defense system as well, and FMWR is responsible for the festivities.
Not so unique to Bragg, but cool nonetheless, is the Auto Skills Center. With two locations at Fort Bragg, these buildings allow Soldiers and their Families space and tools to work on their own vehicles.
The East Bragg Auto Skills Center has a Resale Lot with used cars, trucks and recreational vehicles for sale by the owners.
Fort Bragg’s FMWR also has a Frame and Design Arts shop, located on Armistead Street on Pope Army Airfield. The Frame and Design Arts shop provides affordable framing and engraving and also has classes for various arts and crafts throughout the month.
Finally, FMWR has a recreation equipment checkout center at Smith Lake Recreation Area. The checkout center has many things available for rent, including campers, canopy tents, tables, grills, dunk tanks and lawn equipment.
I haven’t even gotten into any of the recreation areas such as Smith Lake or the Clay Target Center. FMWR offers so much to Fort Bragg Soldiers and their Families, it makes it difficult to cover everything in one article.
Basically, FMWR at Bragg rocks. For information on all of the programs and things that FMWR has to offer, visit their website at https://bragg.armymwr.com.
Basic Training: Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation
By Alyson Hansen