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Watch your inbox: You may be one of the nearly 1 million troops who will get a chance to voice your opinions about military morale, welfare and recreation programs in a survey that is scheduled to launch the week of May 12.
Beginning that day, randomly selected troops worldwide will receive an email invitation with directions to participate in the Defense Department survey about MWR, according to information posted on the Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System website.
Information was not immediately available about whether the survey will include National Guard and reserve members. A baseline survey conducted in 2009 included only active-duty members. There are currently more than 1.3 million people on active duty.
The survey will help defense and services officials shape MWR programs to meet the needs of service members and families, according to DoD. Troops will be invited to express their opinions about which programs they like or don’t like, and what they would change.
The nine MWR programs in this survey, as specified in the DoD information are: fitness, libraries, auto service centers, outdoor recreation, recreation centers, single service member programs, swimming pools, leisure travel and sports and athletics.
There will be three extra questions in three randomly selected program areas. A number of MWR programs are offered by the military, but not all have a presence on every installation.
Officials expect to measure changes in MWR customer satisfaction and evaluate the effectiveness of program improvements since the 2009 MWR baseline customer satisfaction survey was conducted.
In the summer of 2011, the second time an MWR survey was conducted, 17,428 service members responded with an overall satisfaction level of 69 on a scale of zero to 100 — the same overall DoD score in 2009. Eight programs were rated at that time.
The latest survey is voluntary, anonymous and confidential.
MWR programs and activities are funded in a variety of ways, and in some cases, a combination of ways: self-supporting with user fees; taxpayer dollars and funding from the profits from other nonappropriated fund activities such as the military exchanges.
Like many other functions, funding sources for MWR have been squeezed by the budget crunch within DoD.