The USO's Brian A. Cowart – serving our service members

Guest blog and image courtesy of the USO

The U.S. military changed the whole trajectory of Brian Cowart’s family and career. With a father who served in the Army and benefited from the G.I. Bill to a wife who served in the Air Force Reserves, Cowart’s life has been shaped by those who have served this country in uniform. His many relatives have also served, including tours in Vietnam, with each of his family members’ experiences giving him an even greater appreciation for the sacrifices of those called to duty.

As the new Chief Development and Marketing Officer for the United Service Organizations (USO), Cowart will be channeling his passion for supporting our country’s service members and their families into innovative ways for the iconic non-profit organization to broaden its reach and attract a new generation of supporters. And in doing so, Brian hopes more people will give and companies will invest in the USO, knowing that the dollars they contribute go toward providing morale, care, and connection to service members and their families.

“Americans value their military, but they do not know as much about them as they should,” Brian said, “The military provides humanitarian relief around the world, serves their neighbors in a time of crisis, and is engaged in missions that ensure our national security. They are always on the clock, hard at work on behalf of their country.”

From getting his start at CARE, which is focused on eradicating poverty and hunger around the world, to his work at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Cowart has built a resume full of experiences reflecting his desire to do good work by helping others. Coming to the USO from DAV (Disabled American Veterans), Cowart also recognizes the challenges that veterans have and as DAV’s Chief Development Officer, he helped raise $140 million annually for the organization.

Of his opportunity at the USO, Cowart said this was “this is a firsthand opportunity to give back to those who do so much for our country.” Cowart noted that it because of his life experiences with the military that it is his heartfelt desire to use his new position to help active-duty service members and their families. 

 “The USO is an integral part of the military experience,” he said. “Whether it is a volunteer offering a soldier a cup of coffee or providing a sailor a care package, the USO – like our partner, FedEx –is always there by the side of the men and women of the Armed Forces.”

Having FedEx as a partner which provides financial and logistical shipping support to the USO allows the non-profit to provide expanded expeditionary support to service members in the field. Overall, the USO sends out hundreds of thousands of shipments each year, including everything from USO Holidays Care Packs, to supplies for USO programs, to pallets of furniture for overseas USO centers. These shipments go everywhere from Alaska and Hawaii, to Germany, Kuwait, and Japan – and more.

It is no easy logistical feat and requires invoices, approvals from foreign governments, U.S. military cooperation and so much more. Shipping is a large part of what allows the USO to deliver – quite literally – its mission to military communities across the globe. After all, as the USO often says, “we go where they go” – and the military goes to some far-off corners of the world. FedEx has major shipping hubs on almost every corner of the map, which helps the USO reach almost all of the locations in which the U.S. military is currently serving.