Defense officials want your opinion on the quality of morale, welfare and recreation programs on your base -- and this year, for the first time, they're seeking input from spouses, too.  

Watch your inbox starting Monday, when Defense officials begin sending out the MWR customer satisfaction survey to a random sample of active-duty, National Guard and reserve members, as well as spouses. Information was not immediately available regarding how many surveys will go out, but the sample will be representative of all services and ranks, as well as other demographic elements.

This is the fourth MWR customer satisfaction survey; the last one was conducted in 2014.

DoD officials want to assess the satisfaction of troops and families across nine MWR programs: fitness, sports and athletics, libraries, outdoor recreation, recreation centers, auto service centers, single service member programs, leisure travel and swimming pools.

The survey "is just one of the tools we use to find out what folks want, what they don't want, and what they think of the services," said Todd Weiler, assistant secretary of defense for manpower and reserve affairs. "It not only provides some very detailed information at the local level, but up at this level, it helps us find those areas we want to shift resources toward."

Some results will be available in about a year, he said.

The survey, delivered via, will measure MWR satisfaction on three outcomes -- readiness, retention and unit cohesion.

About 22,300 service members participated in the summer 2014 survey, rating customer service, operation hours, facility conditions and quality of service. The overall DoD score was 67 in 2014, compared with 69 in both 2009 and 2011. The survey labels scores in the 60s, on a 100-point scale, as "fine, but could use work." 

Satisfaction with Army MWR programs fell by a single point, while Navy and Air Force satisfaction decreased by two points. Marine Corps satisfaction fell by four points.
Officials encourage those who receive a survey to respond with their input, allowing for a broad base of feedback to help improve MWR programs.

Karen Jowers covers military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times. She can be reached at

Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for more than 30 years, and is co-author of a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book "A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families." She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Fla., and Athens, Ga.

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