Global Networks Challenge Army Sustainment

Global Networks Challenge Army Sustainment

Speakers sitting at stage.
Photo by: AUSA/Luc Dunn

Volunteers from the two organizations will welcome military or dependent ID card holders of all ranks and services for the seventh annual Operation Deploy Your Dress D.C. This year’s event will take place April 13 at a new location—the Military Women’s Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.

Participants will receive two dresses and one accessory, and they will be able to try on the dresses in a fitting room. A separate fitting room will be available for those who might be a little shy.

All participants also will receive a complimentary AUSA Basic membership, with the option to upgrade to a Premium membership and get access to AUSA scholarships, a copy of The Army Spouse Handbook and other benefits.

The popular event and the dresses are free, but registration for a “shopping” time slot is required.

Register here for one of eight 45-minute time slots scheduled throughout the day beginning at 9 a.m. The last appointment is at 4 p.m. A special advance 45-minute time slot will begin at 8 a.m. for AUSA Premium members who can register here.

The donated new and gently used dresses will be refreshed during 15-minute intervals between time slots.

Operation Deploy Your Dress was founded in late 2015 at Fort Bliss, Texas, by a group of military spouses who organized a dress swap to lessen the cost of formal wear for holiday balls. The idea quickly grew into an organization run by dozens of volunteers, offering gently used dresses and accessories to military members and dependents.

The group now has 13 shops across the U.S. and one in Germany, and in the past six years has given away more than 20,000 gowns, saving military families $2 million, according to the organization’s website.

AUSA last hosted a D.C. pop-up event in May 2023, when more than766 dresses were given away. AUSA and Operation Deploy Your Dress have worked together since 2017, including during AUSA’s Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington, D.C.

“AUSA Family Readiness is thrilled to support our service members and families with Operation Deploy Your Dress and the Women’s Military Memorial,” said Holly Dailey, director of AUSA’s Family Readiness Directorate.

She added that it’s especially meaningful to be teaming up with the Military Women’s Memorial, “where we honor service women who have profoundly impacted the armed forces and continue to do so.”