Appearing onstage isn’t the only way to reach “the most appreciative audience in the world.” USO Handshake Tours are a great way to interact with our troops and bring a message of support from back home. A handshake, an autograph, a photo or a conversation shows our troops how much they are valued. Seeing someone they admire in person or simply knowing that the effort was made to visit them is appreciated just as much as a performance.
Depending on the type of base visited, celebrities meet with troops in the midst of their base activities by visiting hospitals, sharing meals with them, touring military work stations and visiting senior leadership. Handshake tours also afford celebrities the unique opportunity to share some of the military experiences alongside the troops. This could include riding on board tanks, humvees and helicopters, visiting war rooms, firing live munitions, landing on an aircraft carrier, watching military K9 demonstrations and operating weapon and flight simulators.
USO Handshake Tour Fast Facts:
TOUR LENGTH: Like any other USO tour, Handshake Tours vary from one stop to a complete tour of multiple destinations. Typically, tours last 1-2 days stateside and 7-10 days overseas. We can also arrange a stop within artists’ existing tour schedules.
WHERE: USO tours take place on military bases in the U.S. and abroad, including Europe, the Mediterranean, the Pacific, the Balkans, the Caribbean and the Persian Gulf. Celebrities are also encouraged to make separate trips solely to visit troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center in the Washington, DC metropolitan area as well as at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
WHEN: The USO is flexible and willing to work with artists to develop tour dates. We also schedule tours based on guidance from the Department of Defense and requests from military bases.
TRAVEL: The USO covers all travel expenses related to the tour and typically flies talent on commercial aircraft.
LODGING: The USO provides accommodations on base or off base in the highest quality hotels available.
HONORARIUM (Per Diem): When traveling with the USO, each tour participant receives $50 per day for stateside appearances and $125 per day for overseas tours.
ITEMS PROVIDED BY THE USO: The USO provides autograph sheets, tour posters, swag, military base clearance, itineraries and assistance in obtaining passports/visas. (The sale of artists’ merchandise is prohibited on USO tours.)
If you are interested in participating in a USO Tour, please email your request and electronic press kit/bio to: firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also send a press kits or address additional inquiries to the attention of:
Celebrity Recruiting Department
2111 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1200
Arlington, VA 22201
** Please allow at least 2-3 weeks upon receipt of request for review and response to inquiries.