For the last 71 years, the campaign objectives have remained the same: To create greater awareness of Army Emergency Relief benefits and to give Soldiers the opportunity to help their fellow Soldiers.
“The annual campaign allows commanders the opportunity to reinforce a greater awareness of how Army Emergency Relief helps Soldiers and their families,” said AER’s director, retired Army Lt. Gen. Robert Foley. “By promoting a better understanding of AER benefits as well as an appreciation for the flexibility which AER officers possess in responding to requests for financial assistance, Soldiers and Families can be provided the help they need.”
AER was established during WW II to insure that there was an agency within the structure of the Army that could provide prompt financial assistance for Soldiers and their Families. AER continues to provide no-interest loans and grants as well as scholarships to children and spouses of active duty and retired Soldiers.
In 2012 Army Emergency Relief provided $76.8 million in assistance to more than 59,000 Soldiers and their Families. More than 38 percent of that assistance was provided under the streamlined Command Referral Program where Company Commanders and First Sergeants have the authority to approve up to $1,500 in interest-free loans for their Soldiers.
The motto of our AER Officers is, “Find a way to say Yes.” There is no limit on the amount of assistance that can be provided and no limit on the number of times a Soldier may make requests for assistance. It is all based on need.Soldiers requiring AER assistance should contact their unit Chain of Command or go to their local installation AER office.
Due to reciprocal agreements with the other military aid societies, Soldiers and Families not near an Army installation can get AER assistance at an Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard base from the Air Force Aid Society, Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, and Coast Guard Mutual Assistance respectively or from the American Red Cross call center at 877-272-7337.
Additional program information is available at www.aerhq.org.