You've got to have places like this, and people who work in places like this, and give them the intellectual space to look at those kinds of things, to think outside the box, to have the mission of what do we need to do to be the best tomorrow? We've got to have the folks who are looking past today into tomorrow.
- Secretary of the Army John McHugh, emphasizing his top priority on developing Army's future energy solutions, while attending the Army Power & Energy Initiatives Breakfast and visiting the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
McHugh glimpses Army energy future
I knew that the largest army in the world was well trained, and that they worked with all the best equipment. I also thought that Americans earned so many awards from the look of their uniforms. The British Army Soldiers didn't have as many awards for their uniforms.
- Spc. Simon Davidson-Hood, former British soldier and current member of 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard)
London native serves in Old Guard
Army Emergency Relief Annual Campaign
What is it?
The Army Emergency Relief (AER) Annual Campaign is conducted from March 1st through May 15th each year in order to increase Soldier awareness of this valuable benefit as well as to give Soldiers the opportunity to help their fellow Soldiers by making a donation to AER.
AER is a private nonprofit organization incorporated in 1942 to relieve distress of Soldiers and their dependents. Today, AER provides financial assistance to Soldiers, retirees and their families in the form of interest-free loans and grants in support of a variety of needs including:
&bull Emergency assistance for rent, food, travel, car repair, funeral, medical and dental expenses, cranial helmets and furniture.
&bull Children and spouse scholarships
&bull Grants to Soldiers medically evacuated from Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom
&bull Support to families of fallen Soldiers
AER assistance is available to Soldiers, retirees and their families wherever they are located. The amount of assistance is only limited by the amount of the valid need. Soldiers, retirees and their family members desiring AER assistance should contact their chain of command or local AER office. Under the AER Command Referral Program, company commanders and first sergeants have the authority to approve AER loans to their Soldiers up to $1,500. Based on reciprocal agreements, Soldiers, retirees and families not near an AER office can seek assistance from the Air Force Aid Society, Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, and Coast Guard Mutual Assistance on their respective bases or seek assistance from the national American Red Cross call center at (877) 272-7337.
What has the Army done?
In 2011, the Army and AER disbursed more than $77.5 million in total assistance to more than 64,000 active and retired Soldiers and families to meet emergency financial and educational assistance needs.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army supports AER and its annual AER Campaign through mission, installation, and garrison commanders and CSMs personally attending campaign kick-off events to increase awareness and offer Soldiers the opportunity to donate to AER. In addition to the annual campaign, AER accepts unsolicited donations from individual donors and corporations throughout the year.
Why is it important to the Army?
Soldiers, retirees and their families need to know that AER assistance is available in times of financial need. The annual campaign is a critical tool to increase awareness. Army Emergency Relief is dedicated to Helping the Army Take Care of Its Own and provides Army leaders a valuable asset in ensuring a ready source of financial assistance to Soldiers and their families.
Related article: Soldiers can help Soldiers through AER Campaign
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