Retirees, eligible veterans granted access to Army MWR facilities in Germany
By Mark HeeterSeptember 1, 2020
WIESBADEN, Germany – Military retirees and eligible veterans are now permitted to use Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) facilities and services at Army garrisons in Germany, following German authorities’ approval of a request from U.S. Army Europe and Installation Management Command-Europe.The list of facilities includes for-fee services such as golf courses, bowling centers, auto skills shops, arts- and-crafts shops, outdoor recreation, and lodging, according to Dave Mattingly, Assistant Chief of Staff for MWR programs for IMCOM-Europe.The list also includes traditional non-fee services such as fitness centers, libraries, and Army Community Service, according to Mattingly.“We are thankful for the German government and its decision to allow our retirees and veterans to use these services and facilities, as part of our commitment and recognizing them as ‘Soldiers for Life,’” said Tommy R. Mize, director of Installation Management Command-Europe.“This is the result of our retirees approaching us with a request for help and our leadership carrying the request forward to the host nation,” Mattingly said, noting that Mize consulted Lt. Gen. Christopher Cavoli, commanding general of U.S Army Europe, who championed the request.“Great credit for this goes to our retirees, who are always welcome and encouraged to ask us questions or let us know how we can improve, and this notable improvement comes directly from one of those questions,” Mattingly said.To obtain post access at garrisons within Germany, veterans must have a Veterans Health Identification Card issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs in the U.S. The VHIC must be the newest version that displays the veteran's eligibility status, to include Purple Heart recipients, former prisoners of war, and veterans with documented service-connected disabilities or their VA documented caregivers. VHICs are not issued overseas. To learn more about the VHIC, visit https://www.va.gov/health-care/how-to-apply/.Besides their VHIC, veterans residing in Germany will also need to fill out Army in Europe Form 190-16A, which can be requested by at their local garrison’s Installation Access Control Services (IACS) office. Forms should be returned to IACS via encrypted email, dropped off in person at a garrison visitor center, or local IACS staff can provide a secure website link to which veterans can upload their completed forms.Once background checks are complete in three to five days, veterans will be notified by IACS and can stop by a garrison visitor center to be issued an installation pass, which allows veterans to sign on spouses.Veterans who are only visiting Germany may obtain a temporary installation pass with their VHIC through the same process.For additional details or questions about the updated permissions, retirees and veterans are encouraged to reach out to their garrisons’ MWR facilities.