Editor’s Note: This article was originally released on Aug. 13, 2015; it was updated on July 17, 2023.


GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — It took a few weeks, a second cup of coffee, and some self-rallying to finally sit down and browse my options.

As a young educated Army spouse confronting the challenges of adjusting to a first duty station, I struggled with the change and sincerely believed securing a position in an already heavily-saturated Army community was nearly impossible. Nevertheless, I had promised myself several months before to be proactive about my professional development.

Turns out, many organizations at U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria are actually in need of help. Organizations such as your Soldier Family Readiness Group, American Red Cross, nearby DoDEA Schools, MWR and the Directorate of Human Resources have volunteer openings ranging from assistant administration and leadership to after-school sports coaches and special events coordinators.

Many of these positions coincide with the work of paid employees and — often after demonstration of dedication and proficiency — evolve into employment.

These volunteer opportunities are regularly uploaded by organizations across the Bavarian garrison onto an interactive — and now mobile-friendly — web-portal called Army Family Web Portal.

Army Family Web Portal, which you can visit at https://vmis.armyfamilywebportal.com, is a comprehensive resource for military families, providing those new to the military community with information on Army-specific programs and instant access to online trainings.

The website is also home to the volunteer database known as the Volunteer Management Information System, or VMIS, where interested spouses, family members or retirees can search and apply for current volunteer opportunities on particular installations and interact with volunteer coordinators.

Much like an online job listing, VMIS demonstrates the community’s demand for volunteer engagement and allows individuals to identify and pursue positions compatible with their background and objectives. Whether you are a young professional seeking office experience, a teenager looking to support the surrounding region, or a seasoned specialist, many on-post offices offer relevant opportunities and desperately depend on your support.

A bit of advice: When you do settle in a volunteer position, be sure your employer and you sign a Volunteer Agreement (DD Form 2793). This spells out your responsibilities. But more importantly, the fine print protects you “for certain purposes relating to compensation for injuries occurring during the performance of approved volunteer services.” Ensure everyone signs it and keep in your records.

Here’s how to apply for a volunteer position using VMIS:

Step 1: Register for an Army Family Web Portal Account

TIPFor subsequent account access, simply click “Login” at the top right

Step 2: Access VMIS

Click “Volunteer Tools” from the top right

Step 3: Locate Your Installation

  • Click “Advanced Search” to enter the garrison name or, using the CONUS or OCONUS map, click the state or country where the garrison is located
  • Identify your “Community” (ex: USAG Bavaria)

 Step 4: Narrow the Search

  • Choose the country or state of the installation from the “State/Region” drop box (ex: Germany or Armed Forces Europe)
  • Enter the zip code of your installation in “Postal Code” (ex: 09114 for Grafenwoehr and 09112 for Vilseck)

TIPTo explore numerous opportunities, select “All” for the Organization Group and Organization drop boxes

Step 5: Apply

  • Select the position of interest, review the job description and click “Apply” at the top right corner of the application.
  • Fill out the application and click “Submit”
  • TIPTake note of the Army Volunteer Coordinator’s contact information at the bottom of the page. You may want to contact the coordinator directly if you have not heard from your organization in a few days