These groups are not formal entities of the Defense Department but follow department guidelines for private organizations. Most clubs are involved in a variety of charitable and self-help efforts.
For years, Defense Department regulations expressly prohibited service members from exerting pressure on those in their chain of command, or their spouses, to join or donate time to such a club. The regulations also stated that a spouse’s decision not to participate could not affect the member’s promotion or assignment opportunities. That regulation was deleted in 2006.