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New Year’s Eve & Day

There are many ways military members celebrate New Year’s Day and Eve depending on where in the world they are stationed. There are a few common factors people start thinking about in the weeks before the official end of the old year and the start of the new.

New Years Eve will be celebrated on Thursday, December 31st, 2020 and New Years Day will be celebrated on Friday, January 1st, 2021.

Celebrating New Year’s Eve and Day at Military Bases, in Local Communities

One of the big organizers of New Year’s activities for troops and their families? Morale, Welfare, And Recreation (MWR), the agency responsible for a vast amount of activities, events, and recreational sites on an estimated two thousand facilities on U.S. military bases around the world.

MWR holds or sponsors New Year’s events on stateside bases as well as overseas bases, and families will discover that the cost of these events is far lower than their civilian counterparts in many areas. Everything from New Year’s Bowling Events like the one held at Fort Campbell in 2017 to that year’s more traditional New Year’s Bash for military members and their families in Wiesbaden, Germany.

The main MWR official sites (the Army and Navy both have one of their own) aren’t your best source of information for these local events. It’s best to consult the local military installation’s official site for the most relevant news and event times. The local MWR office usually has a presence on these sites through links, special sections, and command announcements.

Naturally, MWR isn’t the only agency to organize New Year’s activities. Local commands, Family Support Centers, base chapels, and many other organizations on post or on board will hold their own celebrations. You can learn about these events via base official sites.

At overseas bases there’s also a tradition of individual units holding informal, private parties for troops and families.

Celebrating Together, While Apart

One way some military families choose to celebrate New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day has a lot to do with connecting with loved ones who are deployed elsewhere. Ringing in the New Year by phone, video conference, chat, or other digital platforms helps to put people together across multiple time zones.

Those stationed in Japan may choose to celebrate twice by observing both on local time and on stateside (or elsewhere) time with loved ones over the internet. The same is true for many overseas locations far enough away from stateside time zones.

The New Year’s tele-celebration works in many circumstances and is a great way to shorten the distance between family and friends at a time when many are used to being together to ring in the coming year. Some bases or veteran support organizations may also sponsor video conferencing sessions or other ways to connect depending on circumstances, mission requirements, etc.

Military New Year’s Eve and Day Safety

Safety is always a top priority in military communities and many military bases offer ways to help troops and families ring in the New Year with respect to one of the most obvious concerns during this special time of year; drinking, and driving.

The work to provide safe holiday parties and observances includes bases or base MWR offices providing transportation to and from events and parties. They help by making designated driver services available. Additionally, they hold local events away from other crowded locations where traffic and those associated New Year’s risks are elevated.

No New Year’s Eve Celebratory Gunfire, Please

But the military’s emphasis on safe New Year’s fun doesn’t stop there. Many communities see local officials including military and law enforcement coming out to publicly discourage the practice of discharging firearms at the stroke of midnight.

Do a Google search on the phrase “New Year’s Eve celebratory gunfire” and you will find articles published by everything from the Detroit Free Press to the Miami Herald warning about the dangers of falling bullets, the number of casualties sustained every year by celebratory shooting, and more.

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SUPPORT STAFF SPOTLIGHT MEET BILL –TRAINER II I started my career with DVS in December of 2019 where I began as an agent. During that time, I had the opportunity to advance, from an agent to a manage


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