US Army MWR history and philosophy
from U.S. Army MWR
Morale, welfare, and recreation programs did not exist from the founding of the Army in 1775 until the start of the twentieth century. During that 125 year plus time span there were unofficial and informal forms of troop support such as the tradesmen who provided meals, clothing, laundering, and the trading posts which provided goods for purchasing. There was some limited Congressional oversight established in 1876 over “Post Traders.” The establishment of the Army "PX" or Post Exchange, by Headquarters, Department of the Army followed in 1895, with oversight performed by the garrison commander's office and all profits were used to support recreational activities for the troops.
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