The United Service Organizations of North Carolina (USO of NC), founded in 1941, is the lead organization charged with supporting military servicemen and women in the state of North Carolina. Eleven percent of U.S. military active duty forces call North Carolina home. With seven major military installations, North Carolina has the fourth largest demographic of active and reserve duty components in the country.
USO of NC is an independent 501C-3 organization chartered by USO Arlington as a self-sustaining separate operating entity. USO of NC is wholly reliant on funding from private grants, donations, corporate gifts and sponsorships, and fundraisers. It receives no direct funding from the national USO or from the government.
With six centers statewide, USO of NC serves an average of 567,000 troops over the course of a year. Four travel-based centers at Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Raleigh Durham International Airport along with the Fayetteville Airport and Ellis Airport in Jacksonville host an average of 18,000 visitors per month. Two installation-based centers at Fort Bragg and Jacksonville (the oldest operating USO in the world) and the Charlotte MEPS center serve an average of 109,000 troops and their families annually, in addition to providing assistance with Rack Packs, Care Packages, deployments and homecomings. The USO of NC Mobile Unit travels statewide to support troops and their families in remote locations and at deployments and homecomings, with the secondary mission of disaster relief.
Beyond the traditional interest of providing troops with all the comforts of home, USO of NC has stayed relevant in the 21st century by offering support services and critical programs to military families.
USO of NC, its sponsors and 700 volunteers are passionately invested in helping to alleviate some of these challenges. This past year, USO of NC supported hundreds of troops with meal needs by hosting local holiday meals and distributing grocery store food cards and food pantry items. USO of NC actively helps keep troops and their families connected by providing an online video messaging tool funded by private donors and sponsors called the Smiles over Miles program. USO of NC has a statewide education initiative in the works designed to teach reading skills to elementary school military children who have fallen behind academically.