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Army Community Service

Army Community Service

The Association for Volunteer Administration Organization Award

1983 – Army Community Service, Department of the Army

"In recognition of outstanding dedication, leadership, and concern in the field of volunteerism through developing a network of services in military communities throughout the world."

The Army Community Service, now an integral component of the U.S. Army structure, represents the Army’s recognition of the welfare of the individual soldier and his/her family. Until the creation of the Army community Service program in 1965, the policy of the military had been to concentrate on the mission alone and to treat the families as though an official motto had been the old slogan "If the Army had wanted you ho have a wife, they would have issued you one!"

By the Vietnam years, however, it became all too apparent that ours was a married Army, one reflecting the turbulent American society of the 1960s, and that the conscripts coming into its forces then were bringing with them their civilian world problems - financial, medical, and personal - along with the family stresses caused especially by the turbulence and danger of a service like in war-time. At last the authorities, led by a caring Chief of Staff, General Harold K. Johnson, realized that they needed to make the whole Army family a priority concern and must create a structured program to serve them. It is significant that is designing such a program, the planners declared from the first their dependence for its development on the use of volunteers. They even wrote a statement to that effect in the governing regulations for the program.