Squadron Morale Ideas for Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR)

Are you in charge of the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) for your squadron, troop, or unit? Do you command a flight that faces MWR issues and low morale?

While part of the military certainly involves the classic “shut up and color” mentality, we all know that improved troop morale leads to better performance, more comradery, and, ultimately, a stronger U.S. military.

It’s easier said than done, however, to turn around a negative squadron culture that you inherited or to bond a group of people with vastly different personalities and interests.

We compiled these ideas to help you enhance your squadron’s MWR or to support someone responsible for this hefty job.

1 - Plan an adventure trip and provide the transportation

If you want to plan an activity for troops and their families, planning an adventure trip is always a great way to go. You can take advantage of whatever resources the Outdoor Recreation Center on your base has and consider popular destinations that people would otherwise visit on their own.

Some ideas of family-friendly adventure trips include:
  • River tubing or a whitewater rafting trip
  • Rock climbing
  • Skiing, snowshoeing, or snow tubing (obviously not if you’re stationed at Hickam!)
  • A sporting event (lower divisions, if a major league game would be cost-prohibitive)
  • Paintball
  • Mountain biking

When you give people an adventure to partake in and include the necessary gear and transportation, you eliminate many of the reasons why people don’t participate in the first place!

2 - Create a Competition

We left this category intentionally broad because the point is really to focus on competition. It doesn’t matter whether you’re coordinating a March Madness bracket competition for your squadron, holding a Chili Cook-Off, or planning a month-long fitness challenge for your flight. The idea is that we’re motivated by competition, and much more likely to participate if there’s glory on the line.

Competition ideas you might not have considered include:
  • Watermelon seed spitting
  • Scavenger hunts
  • Can-Jam or lawn game olympics
  • Cookie bake-offs
  • Trivia

Think about the personal of your squadron and families to narrow down the type of competition in which they would genuinely enjoy participating.

3. Fundraise

We saved the best for last, here. Think about the men and women you work with — they were all called to serve for one reason or another, and this should be what you capitalize on as you raise morale.

Fundraising bracelets are an incredible way to bring your squadron together, as they raise money for a good cause and show unity.

Think of these bracelets as a squadron patch but with more connection to the Armed Forces tradition. The Defenders of Freedom fundraising bracelet, for instance, comes with tiles that honor every branch of the military and different conflicts. When you order a case, you get 120 bracelets — more than enough to sell to your troops, their families, and their extended network. Plus, proceeds go to veteran support networks, so it’s really for a good cause.

Curious to see what these products look like before you order? Get a free sample from Defender Wood Bracelets!