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January 20, 2015 – Association of Defense Communities

Nonprofits providing support to military personnel and their families should find it easier to gain access to installations, under a memo recently issued by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

The memo emphasizes the importance of relationships with military support organizations and directs senior military leaders and installation commanders to implement uniform procedures to ease access for those groups, reported DOD News.

Hagel said he is “directing installation commanders to be welcoming and supportive. … Consistent with mission requirements and security constraints, installation commanders are to provide even/support-driven access, support, collaboration, available space and certain logistical support to those organizations,” reported Military Times.

The memos “send a very clear message to installation commanders that they don’t have to be afraid of a nonprofit wanting to come on base and provide services or information that would benefit military members and families,” Joyce Raezer, executive director of the National Military Family Association, told the publication.

“Some commanders thought they needed permission. This gives them permission to do the right thing. If the process that’s laid out is followed, it should bring more consistency that should make it easier for nonprofits to share information about their programs and services, and connect families to those services,” Raezer said.

Examples of services support organizations offer include physical fitness and recreation activities; scholarships; life skills training; spouse education; parenting skills; camp support and services for military children; support services for victims of sexual assault, domestic abuse or child abuse; and emergency/financial assistance.

Hagel issued a second memo at the same time applying to organizations accredited by the Veterans Affairs Department to serve transitioning service members.


The information above is for general awareness only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Economic Adjustment or the Department of Defense as a whole.

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