PWOC participants can be proud of their international and national PWOC heritage. This chapel-based ministry for women was formed to help chaplains carry out their religious programs, and to bring Christian fellowship and spiritual growth to U.S. military communities around the globe.
Shortly after family members of U.S. Armed Forces began arriving in Europe in the mid-1950’s, women formed chapel support groups to assist their chaplains and to seek Christian fellowship. Initially, these groups had no ties to other chapel or women’s groups. In October 1955, 250 women from across Europe attended a convention in Berchtesgaden, Germany. Here a U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR) PWOC Council was established and guidelines for area and local chapters were prepared. In May 1956, 500 women gathered again in Berchtesgaden for the first PWOC Training Conference. There were speakers and workshops to train the delegates and to offer spiritual enrichment. This conference proved to be so successful that it has become an annual PWOC-Europe event. All chapters of the U.S. Forces Europe were united into one organization in 1960 and the USAREUR Council became the European Council.
“We Are Workers Together for Christ,” the theme of the first PWOC training conference, has become the official motto for PWOC worldwide.