WASHINGTON (AP) _ A group of rock music stars from various bands will kick off an around-the- world tour of U.S. military installations and ships on Friday with a performance at Yokota Naval Base in Japan, the USO said Wednesday.

The 31-day trip is the third such annual rock tour sponsored by the USO and the first to include stops around the world instead of hops to either the Pacific or European theaters.

The entourage is expected to perform before about 100,000 military personnel before returning to McGuire Air Force Base, N.J., in mid-October. Dubbed the USO's ''1st Airborne Rock 'n' Roll Division, the troupe departed San Francisco earlier this week for the initial flight to Japan.

According to Patricia J. Elgin, a spokesman for the USO in Washington, the rock tours were the brainchild of Phil Ehart, the drummer with the group ''Kansas'' and the son of an Air Force officer. The 1984 tour put together by Ehart was the first USO Celebrity Entertainment show to feature rock musicians exclusively.

Joining Ehart for this year's tour are musicians from such groups as ''LeRoux,'' the ''Doobie Brothers,'' ''Pablo Cruise,'' ''Dixie Dregs'' and ''Red 7.'' Stephen Stills of ''Crosby, Stills and Nash'' fame will join the tour during its European phase.

Among other destinations, the musicians will be stopping in Japan, Okinawa, the Philippines, Diego Garcia, aboard ships in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and military installations in Europe and ships assigned to the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean.

The USO is a civilian, non-profit organization that provides support services to servicemen and their families at more than 160 locations around the world.