At 75, the USO is Better than Ever
Watch how the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore, the largest chapter chartered by the USO, supports caregivers and military families.
Founding of the USO
In February 1941 – 10 months before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, compelling the United States to enter World War II – President Franklin D. Roosevelt helped create the United Service Organizations for National Defense, which was charged with strengthening the morale of America’s military by connecting them to their family, home and country. Although the USO provides a wide variety of benefits, programs and services to military members and their families, they are best known for the live performance shows that star popular musicians, actors and celebrities, all of whom have donated their time and talents to enhance the morale of servicemen and women across the country and abroad.
This year, the USO is observing its 75th anniversary across 180 locations around the world, including the Middle East, Europe, Asia and the South Pacific. To view a timeline that marks milestone events in the USO’s 75-year history, visit their website.
The USO Entertains
Since its inception, the USO has hosted a wide range of talent, including Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Marilyn Monroe, Jennifer Lopez, Robin Williams, Kid Rock, Wayne Newton and Gary Sinise, among many others. After making its debut in 2008, the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families is now the longest running tour in USO history. Dedicated to helping children and parents navigate the unique challenges of military life, the tour has completed 1,000 shows on 149 military installations. The tour has also distributed more than 2.6 million giveaways to children and their families.
The New USO
The USO recently launched the USO Transition 360 Alliance, an initiative designed to assist the U.S. military and their families transition to civilian life. The program utilizes the global resources of the USO and partners with RP/6, Hire Heroes USA, Stronger Families and Comfort Crew for Military Kids.
Also in its 75th year, the USO created the Thanks-A-Million campaign, aiming to send one million messages of support for our service members.
On February, 5, 2016, the USO embarked on a six-month long cross-country journey to mark its 75th birthday. USO Route 75’s mission is drive around the United States and connect America’s military and civilians “one story at a time.” You can track their progress and see when the USO will be near your town by visiting this map or viewing their travelogue.
Connect with the USO by visiting: