St. Clair County, home to Scott Air Force Base, is one of five communities across the country named to the 2020 Class of Great American Defense Communities, the Association of Defense Communities announced in conjunction with USAA, the program’s official sponsor.
“The strength of our military starts at home, in America’s defense communities,” said ADC President Joe Driskill. “We are proud to recognize St. Clair County as a community that stands out as supporting service members, veterans and their families.”
The communities recognized by the Great American Defense Communities program demonstrate exemplary work in improving the quality of life of military personnel and their families through programs, initiatives and partnerships in their regions.
“More than 60,000 active duty, guardsmen, reservists, spouses, retirees, and their families bring their wealth of knowledge and experience to the area. Having military families mixed into neighborhoods throughout the county brings new cultures, the opportunity to be a part of diverse communities, and exposes our residents to new ideas and traditions,” said Mark Kern, St. Clair County Board chairman. “The region’s dedication to a joint partnership with Scott AFB has created a sense of community that extends far outside of the gates and has ensured local communities and businesses understand the quality of life, career opportunities, and personal satisfaction our service members, retirees, and their families are looking for.”
The Great American Defense Communities program, now in its fifth year, was established to recognize the role that communities and regions with active installations in the U.S. play in supporting service members and military families. Communities are chosen through a competitive nomination process based on community building and integration, support and collaboration, and educational and employment opportunities, and family support.
ADC is the connection point for leaders from communities, states, the military and industry on community-military issues and installation management to enhance knowledge, information sharing and best practices. With nearly 300 communities, states, regions, and affiliated industry organization as members, ADC represents every major defense community/state in the nation. Visit defensecommunities.org to learn more.
The USAA family of companies provides insurance, banking, investments, retirement products and advice to 12.3 million current and former members of the U.S. military and their families. Known for its legendary commitment to its members, USAA is consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee well-being and financial strength. USAA membership is open to all who are serving our nation in the U.S. military or have received a discharge type of Honorable – and their eligible family members. Founded in 1922, USAA is headquartered in San Antonio.