By Meaghan MacDougall
The Armed Forces Network has recently announced their new streaming service app, which will allow service members, their families, and Veterans to access television shows and movies for free. The app is called AFN Now and should be available some time in the fall of 2022.

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What Is the Armed Forces Network?

The Armed Forces Network is a radio and television broadcast service that the United States Military provides for service members who are stationed overseas. The AFN falls under the control of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs and is a branch of the American Forces Radio and Television Service that’s supervised by the Defense Media Activity. The management of the Armed Forces Network and its broadcast operations is located at the Defense Media Activity headquarters in Ft. Meade, Maryland. The content that’s aired by the AFN operates in 17 countries throughout 28 broadcast affiliates, which the Department of Defense operates editorial control over. The AFN is staffed by service members who have broadcasting occupational specialties and also employs DoD civilians and contractors. For service members who intend to work in broadcasting, the Armed Forces Network provides training from the Defense Information School, where they’re taught how to use state-of-the-art audio and visual editing equipment.

Armed Forces Network Now

AFN Now is the new streaming service that the Armed Forces Network will be releasing during the fall of 2022. The streaming service will be free for all United States troops, as well as their family members and military Veterans. Similar to commercial streaming apps, AFN Now will allow service members to access movies and television shows live and on-demand. Sports programming from the NHL, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, NASCAR, and Indycar will all be available to stream on-demand. Additionally, AFN is also working on adding the NFL, NBA, and Ultimate Fighting Championship to the app before it launches. Instead of commercials, the Armed Forces Network streaming service will show public service announcements and information on service careers between programming. Erik Brazones, an AFN operations policy officer, stated to Military Families Magazines, “They can already get their own music. They can already get their entertainment, but they can’t get information on their careers. They can’t get information on their local community, and that is what we deliver that nobody else can. Netflix doesn’t care about force protection conditions, but the people that are overseas do.”

How Does Streaming Work?

Streaming is a way to watch and listen to video and audio content, such as television shows, movies, and music without having to download the media files before you watch them. How it works is when you stream video and audio content, the information travels in a stream of data from a server. A stand-alone player or plug-in called a decoder acts as a part of a web browser. The decoder and the server then work together to allow video and audio content to be watched or listened to live or on-demand. Luckily for our brave service members, they don’t have to deal with any of that. They just need to download the app and go!

How To Get the AFN App

The AFN App is a military channel streaming movies, television shows, and live broadcasts only to service members, Veterans, and their families. Once the app launches, service members are able to access the


service by downloading the app through the Apple App Store, Google Play, gaming devices, and smart TVs. The Armed Forces Network has convinced Hollywood and the media industry to give military members free access to the most exclusive content since World War II. So, to ensure that only eligible users are gaining free access to this type of content, once users have access to the app, they must authenticate themselves. To do so, users will be required to enter their required identification and have it compared to the Defense Enrollment Eligibility and Reporting System – the same system that’s used to access the AFM satellite service. The Armed Forces Network streaming service will allow service members who are overseas to have access to 90%-95% of content that’s available via satellite service. AFN Now is another soon-to-be benefit for all service members and their families. For now, you’ll have to stick to the AFN Satellite service and keep up with the Armed Forces Network schedule until you can start streaming.

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