NEWS | May 22, 2014

Morale, Welfare, Recreation customer survey rolls out

By Jim Garamone American Forces Press Service

Does your base fitness center need new equipment? Do you want more recreational traveling opportunities? Do you think there aren't enough recreational opportunities for single service members, or do you think there are too many?

You have your chance to make a difference by answering the Defense Department's Morale, Welfare and Recreation Customer Satisfaction Survey. The surveys began arriving in service members email boxes May 12.

"The surveys are going out via email to individual active-duty and reserve-component service members," said Carol Potter, the senior program analyst for the Morale, Welfare and Recreation office in Washington, D.C.

The survey will be rolled during May, and it is in service members' best interests to participate, Potter said.

The survey asks overall questions about the military's morale, welfare and recreation programs and then delves into specifics. The specific areas officials need feedback on are fitness, libraries, outdoor recreation, recreation centers, automotive skills, single-member services, swimming pools, leisure travel and sports and athletics, Potter said.

"This gives us a good idea of what the service members like and don't like about the programs," she added. "It's really a call to action to ask our service members to respond to the survey, because we take their input very seriously."

The morale, welfare and recreation program exists for service members and their families, Potter noted. "We really need them to tell us what they like, what they would change and how they can make them even better," she said.

This is the third time the office has conducted the survey. Previous surveys were taken in 2009 and 2011. In both cases, Potter said, officials used the surveys to decide how to allocate funding.

"Our service members told us they wanted that money in fitness programs and fitness centers," she said. "They also wanted it in outdoor recreation and in single service member programs."

The information from the new survey will be crucial in making decisions on where to invest and what to invest in, she said, and can help to make the MWR program better for everyone.