In 1951, the DoD established the office of Armed Forces Entertainment to meet the needs of our troops serving in remote and hardship deployment areas of operation. The office falls under
command structure of the United States
Air Force, but is tasked with providing all service branches a total of over 1,200 engagements per year around the world, reaching over half a million troops. The government organization is not to be confused with the civilian non-profit group United Service Organization (USO) which is famous for bringing some of the most famous celebrities to large bases. Rather, Armed Forces Entertainment is focused with hardship, remote and front line combat areas of operation. It's tour celebrities go through stringent vetting while receiving a minimal government honorarium/per-diem.
So how does the DoD pick who gets to go on tours? In the case of one of their supporting
Instead, Powers and his board of directors and senior advisors (all volunteers) look for Americans wh
an help make a difference in the daily lives of our Service Members. The
y focus on individuals who can withstand the organizations operational tempo of 16-20 hour days, are willing to pull 40+ hour 'straights' so they can e
ngage night shift workers who otherwise never see the light of day - or sponsored 'entertainment', all the while sharing their own personal stories of duty, dedication and sacrifice. "You put an Olympic Gold Medalist in the room with a service member and listen in on their conversatio
n and you can't tell who the Olympian is and who the Troop is, their stories are so similar: time away from home, dedication, work ethic, sacrifice, team
work, perseverance... it's just amazing to listen to the similarities" Powers adds.