Since before the United States entered World War II, the USO (United Service Organizations) has been a bridge between the American people and the U.S. military. In times of peace and war, the USO has consistently delivered its special brand of comfort, morale and recreational services to service members and their families. A nonprofit, congressionally chartered, private organization, the USO relies on the generosity of individuals, organizations and corporations to support USO activities. The USO is not part of the U.S. Government but is supported by the President of the United States and the Department of Defense. Each President has been the Honorary Chairman of the USO since its inception.
The USO mission is to provide morale, welfare and recreation-type services to our men and women in uniform. The original intent of Congress—and enduring style of USO delivery—is to represent the American people by extending a touch of home to the military.
The USO Naples has been serving the community since 1941. It first opened its' doors to the sailors and military members downtown Naples in Calata San Marco. It served as a canteen and provided assistance and entertainment opportunities for the many sailors stationed or in Naples for a port call. The many volunteers that staffed the USO, providing a touch of home, away from home, always served warm coffee and cookies with a smile.
In 1980 the USO opened its Regional Med Center near the Agnano NSA base.
On April 14, 1988 the USO Naples suffered a terrorist attack outside its' Fleet Center. A car bomb exploded, destroyed the center and killed five people. Including the first woman in the U.S. Navy to die in a terrorist attack.
In 1990 the USO inaugurated its' new facility at the Naples Port, continuing to serve sailors of the U.S. Sixth Fleet, that stopped in Naples for a port call.
As in the USO tradition, the USO Naples held annual Gala's in which the community and the many sponsors that supported the USO came together to celebrate the joint efforts of its' success. The Gala's were traditionally held onboard a U.S. Navy ship, creating a fundamental cultural event for the military and local community. The last USO Gala was held to be held on on a ship was in 2001, on board the USS Kearsarge. Due to the recent world events the USO was not able to hold its' annual Gala for three years after that.
The USO has inaugurated its' center on the Capodichino military air terminal in 2001, and since then has providing assistance to the patrons in transit and to the NSA military working community.
In 2004 the USO Naples moved from the Agnano NSA base to the new Support Site at Gricignano to be closer to its military families.
In 2005 the USO Naples uses all of its energies and resources to reestablish the Gala tradition, and holds the annual Gala at the Joint Forces Command Community Center at the NATO base in Bagnoli, with great success.