Military Recreation, Mission Readiness, and Resilience

Date: 4/25/2013
Time: 2:00pm – 3:15pm Eastern Time
Cost: $25/member $45/non-member
CEUS: 0.1  

A healthy and fit military force is essential to national security. To support a healthy lifestyle, the Department of Defense Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) program provides unique, high-quality recreation opportunities to service members and their families. MWR promotes active living, helps build positive self-esteem and esprit de corps, and contributes to mission readiness. This session will provide recreation professionals information about the research and evaluation that demonstrates how MWR restores confidence and builds resilience in our Service members and how MWR impacts mission readiness. The results of two DoD MWR Customer Satisfaction Surveys and the evaluation of MWR recreation activities at military installations will be discussed. This session will answer the questions: How does MWR impact mission readiness? How can MWR resources be used to increase customer satisfaction? How does MWR increase resilience? And how can MWR professionals justify future funding during a period of budget reductions?

Presenter:  Carol J. Potter, Senior Program Analyst, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy
Presenter Bio:
Carol J. Potter is an expert authority for military MWR programs and is responsible for developing policies, strategic planning, program analysis, evaluation, and program oversight for all military Services. She provides resource oversight for appropriated and nonappropriated funds with a combined total annual budget exceeding $4 billion. Ms. Potter developed the “Return and Recreate” program initiative that promotes high-adventure recreation for returning deployed Service members and their families to reduce stress, promote reintegration, and build resilience. Ms. Potter conducts the biennial MWR Customer Satisfaction Survey that measures current trends of Service members and prioritizes program improvements and funding. The survey results provide empirical data that validates the relationship between MWR, mission readiness, and unit cohesion. She directs the effort to expand recreation inclusion by training military installation recreation staff, enabling them to program and execute MWR activities for people with all abilities such as wounded warriors and families with special needs. Ms. Potter manages a research project that measures resilience when Service members and families participate in a wide selection of MWR activities, since resilience is a major contributor to mission readiness. She is an advisor to the Armed Forces Recreation Network for the National Recreation and Park Association.