Armed Forces Retirement Home
The Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) is the nation’s premier life community for certain retired and former members of America’s armed forces and their spouses. The Home offers a vibrant lifestyle at two distinctly different campuses surrounded by rich history, the arts and cultural venues, educational opportunities, natural beauty, and recreational amenities. On campus, we provide modern facilities, wellness and life enrichment programs, advanced medical care, and so much more.
Authorization and Funding
The Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) is an independent agency in the executive branch of the federal government, authorized and governed by title 24, United States Code, Chapter 10. The agency was created by Congressional legislation in 1991 by merging the United States Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home (USSAH) in Washington, DC, and the United States Naval Home in Gulfport, MS.
These separate retreats have existed since the early- and mid-1800s for the sole purpose of caring for those who had given this country so much. At the time of their establishment, disabled men of the regular Army and Navy were cast adrift with either a miniscule pension or none at all, destined to be dependent on uncertain charity. Learn more about the Home’s heritage and the history of the properties.
Funding for the homes, up until their merger in 1991, varied. The United States Naval Home was funded completely by Navy appropriations. Conversely, the USSAH historically relied upon monthly contributions from active duty Army (and later Air Force) enlisted personnel and warrant officers, fines and forfeitures collected as a result of disciplinary actions, and even dairy and chicken farming (until 1951) for support. In 1976, Congress directed the USSAH Board of Commissioners to collect from residents a monthly fee to be used solely for the operation of the home. When the two homes were merged and redesignated the Armed Forces Retirement Home by Congress in 1991 (Public Law 101-510), funding was made consistent across the two homes. Today, these funds, plus other sources of revenue such as lease payments, bequeaths, and donations, are held in the Armed Forces Retirement Home Trust Fund that continues to capitalize the AFRH.
The AFRH encompasses two separate functions: managing the agency and providing direct care and services every day to the residents. The structure is illustrated in the organization chart.
The first function is accomplished by a headquarters staff that works in the Sherman Building on the Washington, DC, campus. The Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Deputy COO lead the agency and guide the administrators of the two residential communities. The COO’s staff is comprised of other traditional “C Suite” positions, such as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Information Officer, as well the Home’s Inspector General . Together, they are responsible for policy, planning and performance management, budget and financial accounting, procurement, human capital, information technology, facilities management, et al.
The Department of Defense (DoD) exercises oversight of the COO through its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who reports to DoD’s Director of the Washington Headquarters Services (WHS).
The second function – day-to-day care and services – is performed at each of the residential communities by the respective administrators and their administrative and operations, Resident Services, and Healthcare Services staffs. Their responsibilities include full food services and dining room operations, safety and security, as well as collaboration with each community’s Residents Advisory Council. The Washington administrator and the Gulfport administrator manage all aspects of his/her community, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.