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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Dec. 16, 2022

Your discounted travel option that earns dollars for Coast Guard MWR programs 

As you aquire last-minute holiday arrangements, you may want to consider a discounted travel option that gives back to the Coast Guard’s Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) programs.

Available to active duty, reserve, civilian employees, retirees, auxiliary, veterans, and eligible family members, American Forces Travel lets you purchase flights, event tickets, vacation packages, car rentals, cruises, and hotel stays while providing a commission to MWR programs.

“Basically, it is transforming the way MWR is providing online services to our members and families, empowering them to be ready, well, and enhances their quality of life,” said Michael Criswell, MWR specialist. “Because the Internet is now the most popular way to research and book travel, the branches of service chose to evolve their travel offerings.”

In April 2021, American Forces Travel launched a new payment option for select hotels. Customers are able to use their Military STAR Card to make select hotel bookings on, where Priceline is the merchant for that specific hotel. According to their website, approximately 75-80% of all hotel bookings on the site are eligible for Military STAR Card use. “It helps family members,” explained Criswell. “If they need to go home and they are low on cash they can use the card to take the trip and pay it off later.”

The Coast Guard receives a commission for every transaction from someone within the Coast Guard family who uses American Forces Travel for their travel arrangements and tickets. Since the inception of American Forces Travel in 2018, Coast Guard MWR has received approximately $110,000 in commissions. That funding was distributed to the participating Coast Guard units across the service for use within their local MWR programs. “We receive the commission every month and send it to the MWRs in the field. It’s a huge morale booster,” said Criswell.

American Forces Travel is a MWR program that began as the result of a joint service initiative combining the efforts of each of the five branches of service (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard) and the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community & Family Policy. 

For more information, refer to the American Forces Travel website.