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USO

USO —the United Service Organizations—is a civilian, voluntary, nonprofit organization serving the morale needs of U.S. military personnel and their families worldwide. Although congressionally chartered, it is not a government agency and is supported by individual and corporate donations, United Way, and Combined Federal Campaign. USO was created on 4 February 1941 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who determined that private organizations should handle the on‐leave recreation of the rapidly growing U.S. military. Six civilian agencies—the Salvation Army, Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), National Catholic Community Services, National Travelers Aid Association, and National Jewish Welfare Board—coordinated their civilian war efforts to form the USO.

During World War II, USO became the G.I.'s “home away from home,” and began a tradition of entertaining the troops that continues today. Comedian Bob Hope presented his first USO tour in 1942, a practice he continued into the 1990s. USO regrouped in 1950 for the Korean War, after which it was recommended that USO also provide peacetime services. During the Vietnam War, USOs were located in combat zones.

USO began a new era of social services in the 1970s and 1980s. A 1987 Memorandum of Understanding between USO and the Department of Defense named USO as the principal channel representing civilian concern for American forces worldwide. In the 1990s USO delivered services to 5 million active duty service members and their families. Through 125 airport, fleet, family and community centers, mobile canteens, and celebrity entertainment, USO continues to be a touch of home to America's troops.

Bibliography

Frank Coffey , Always Home: 50 Years of the USO, 1991.

Jennifer L. Blanck

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USO

USO • abbr. ∎  ultra stable oscillator. ∎  United Service Organizations.

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USO

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USO

USO (USA) United Service Organization

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