Military social clubs have closed at drastic rates over the last several years. Venues that once hosted a wide variety of quality entertainment are gone, replaced in some cases with less popular and financially failing establishments.
Enlisted clubs were primarily social venues offering low-cost, safe recreation while NCO and officers’ clubs also served as places for networking and mentoring. Most remaining clubs are now all-hands establishments that do not respect differences in rank.
The lack of attractive clubs sends junior members elsewhere for entertainment even while there are good reasons to encourage them to stay on base. Military installations are relatively safe, especially compared to some civilian entertainment districts. Traditional clubs also offered less expensive options, at least before Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) profits—or the profits of their contracted club management—became a factor.