Bay County is the proud home of two DoD installations, Tyndall AFB since 1941 and Naval Support Activity Panama City since 1945. Bay County and the seven municipalities in the metropolitan statistical area actively incorporate the needs of the installations in their strategic plans and work closely with local programs dedicated to supporting military families. In October 2018, Hurricane Michael stunned Tyndall AFB and the region, introducing a new set of challenges for Bay County. ADC looks forward to sharing the community’s story of resilience in 2019.

Nestled in east New Mexico near the Texas border is Cannon AFB and the neighboring community of Clovis. Cannon is home to the 27th Special Operations Wing, one of four Air Force active-duty Special Operations wings within Air Force Special Operations Command. Clovis has proudly supported the base for over 60 years and the community has a variety of programs—from a newcomer’s tour to educational programs—in place to help integrate military personnel and their families to the region.

Columbia, the capital of South Carolina and the state’s second largest city, is the home of Fort Jackson, the largest Army installation for basic combat training. The Columbia Chamber of Commerce and the city have a 100-year partnership with Fort Jackson that remains strong to this day. The community takes pride in walking the talk of “being the most military friendly community in America,” with a plethora of spousal support, educational and veterans support programs in the region.

Middle Georgia supports the mission, service members and military families of Robins AFB. A variety of organizations in the Middle Georgia community work closely with Robins to ensure the airman have what they need to do their jobs and are welcomed into the community. The philosophy is reflected in the community’s motto, EDIMGIAFAD or “Every Day in Middle Georgia is Armed Forces Appreciation Day.”

Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties make up the North Country—home to Fort Drum’s 10th Mountain Division in upstate New York. With a mix of military appreciation, civilian workforce transition, and veterans support services, the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum and the citizens of the North Country have bonded together for more than 30 years to form a community that mutually supports each other.

The Association of Defense Communities, along with the program’s official sponsor, USAA congratulates the 2019 Class of Great American Defense Communities! We look forward to celebrating these five communities that go above & beyond to support their installations and military populations throughout 2019.

GADC Map 2019 Placeholder
GADC Map 2019


Every day America’s defense communities are working to create welcoming and supportive spaces for service members and their families to live and thrive. As the home to our military, these communities recognize the unique challenges and hard work needed to ensure military families are made to feel valued.

The Great American Defense Communities program shines a light on the regions and individuals that are making a difference. The program was designed to recognize and celebrate communities with an exceptional commitment to improving the lives of service members, veterans and their families.

Spirit of Resilience | Bay County, Florida 

Bridging the Divide | Columbia, South Carolina & The North Country, New York

Family First | Clovis, New Mexico & Middle Georgia

For more information on the GADC program, please contact Grace Marvin at (202) 618-8757 or