Despite the alleged comments made in a secretly recorded conversation several years ago by Montgomery Mayor Steve Reed, the military values the relationship with the city so much that it has named Montgomery one of five "Great American Defense Communities" for 2023:
Montgomery-River Region, Alabama
"The Montgomery-River Region, home to Maxwell Air Force Base, is focused on improving education opportunities and resources for military families and the entire community at-large. Cognizant of the reputation of local schools’ and the impact that has on Airmen’s acceptance of assignments and their continuation on active duty, the River Region and State of Alabama committed to partnering with Air University to establish the Maxwell-River Region Partnership for Educational Excellence, which focuses on improving the quality of education available to all families.
In addition to the River Region’s dedication to education, in 2021 the state of Alabama launched the Mentorship-Hub to provide additional support services to military spouses. The Alabama Mentorship-Hub is a first-in-nation statewide virtual network of military spouses, mentors, and advocates to bring 24/7 peer-to-peer mentorship to Active, Guard and Reserve military spouses already living in or moving to the state. Mentors who volunteer in the HUB are trained military spouses who share indispensable, first-hand information related to life in Alabama, its military installations and its defense communities which nurtures an important sense of community and belonging."