Just prior to the onset of America’s involvement in World War II in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sought to unite several service associations into one organization to lift the morale of our military and nourish support on the home front. Those entities – the Salvation Army, Young Men’s Christian Association, Young Women’s Christian Association, National Catholic Community Services, National Travelers Aid Association and the National Jewish Welfare Board – became the United Service Organizations or, the USO.
Today, the USO has continued to support our nation’s military and their families for over seven decades as they defend our country and its freedoms. By providing support to our servicemen and women as they perform their most challenging duties around the world, our credo is to be always by their side.
The reach of the USO’s 180 centers extends to countries on every continent except Antarctica, operated by thousands of staff and volunteers whose goals are to match our service members’ vigilance and provide best-in-class service to those who sacrifice so much for America.
View the USO Through the Years
October 30, 1941
USO Camp Shows, Inc. is established to provide entertainment to troops around the world.
December 31, 1947
All USO clubs and facilities are closed, and the organization is given an honorable discharge by President Harry S. Truman.
The USO is reactivated for the Korean War under a Memorandum of Understanding between the president and the Department of Defense.
Bob Hope makes his first Christmas Tour to Vietnam.
All USO clubs in Vietnam are closed as American troops withdraw.
December 20, 1979
President Jimmy Carter signs the USO’s newly granted congressional charter.
The USO’s Women’s Resource Center opens in Baumholder, Germany – a prototype for other USOs.
USO entertainers are sent to Somalia to perform for troops stationed in the area.
Operation USO Care Package is created by USO of Metropolitan Washington for troops deploying to support Operation Enduring Freedom.
USO Operation Phone home is launched, proving free, international phone cards to service members.
November 7, 2006
The Operation USO Care Package program assembles its 1 millionth care package for troops deployed overseas.
October 21, 2008
The USO opens a new center at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the first center dedicated to wounded warriors.
The USO delivered its first ‘USO in a Box’ units to forward operating based in Afghanistan and Djibouti.
Two hundred USO2GO kits are delivered to remotely deployed troops.
Two USO centers at Dover are renovated to support military mortuary employees, volunteers and the families of the fallen.