As the home to our military, America’s defense communities recognize the unique challenges and hard work needed to ensure that military families are made to feel welcomed, valued and supported. Through a wide array of services and innovative programs, defense communities have a lead role in creating a high quality of life for military families. From providing special training for school counselors and teachers who work with military children, to hosting recreational events designed to integrate military families into the wider community, defense communities serve on the front lines, working everyday to create great places for our service members and their families to live and serve.

The Great American Defense Communities program was designed by the Association of Defense Communities in conjunction with the House and Senate Defense Communities Caucuses to recognize and celebrate communities whose exceptional commitment to improve the lives of service members, veterans and their families as a model for all communities.  Selected communities are recognized nationally for their efforts and become part of a growing collection of best practices that are defining the gold standard for all to follow.  At the same time, the program works to celebrate the achievements of individual communities locally as a way to thank supporters and build support.

Key Dates

October 6, 2017

Deadline to submit a nomination

October 20, 2018

Announcement of the 2018 class of Great American Defense Communities

February 12-14, 2018

Selected communities recognized at the Installation Innovation Forum

June 18-20, 2018

Capitol Hill reception during the 2018 National Summit

Great American Defense Communities Information

Program Details

The Great American Defense Community Program showcases selected communities at the local and national level, and promotes the innovative programs, community leaders and best practices of the 2018 class. The following activities and program are planned for selected communities (subject to change):

+ A special announcement in October and national media release will kickoff the program and announce the winners.
+ The entire 2018 class will be showcased at ADC’s Installation Innovation Forum in February 2018.
+ Between January and June, each community will organize and host local events, in coordination with their Congressional members, base representatives and local community partners to celebrate their selection and recognize the work of their community.  ADC will provide support in developing the event and will coordinate the presentation of the Great American Defense Community flag.  Where possible, ADC leadership will participate in events.
+ At the 2018 Defense Communities National Summit (June 2018), selected communities will be recognized at a special reception attended by members of Congress, DOD leaders and fellow communities.
+ Also at the summit, selected communities will participate in a general session that will highlight innovative ideas, best practices and lessons learned.
+ Each community will be highlighted in a special exhibit that will be displayed during the Capitol Hill reception and possible other locations.
+ Finally, selected communities will be highlighted in a feature story of the 2018 edition of America’s Defense Communities magazine.

2017 Great American Defense Communities

The Association of Defense Communities congratulates the 2017 Class of Great American Defense Communities:
• The Alamo – San Antonio Region, TX
• The Charleston Region, SC
• Christian County, KY
• The Fort Hood – Central Texas Region
• Hampton Roads, VA
• West Valley Partners, AZ
• Sierra Vista, AZ
• The Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments
For more information on this year’s selected communities, contact

GADC Map 2017 Placeholder
GADC Map 2017
For more information on the GADC program, please contact Matt Borron at (202) 822-5256 or