ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Army News Service, Dec. 17, 2013) -- Army Emergency Relief announced that beginning Jan. 1, all sergeants and above can submit requests for financial assistance directly to their installation AER office.
Until now, staff sergeants and below were required to have the recommendation of their company commander or first sergeant before requesting AER assistance. Now sergeants and staff sergeants can apply for assistance directly.
"Based on feedback we received from senior Army leaders, including the sergeant major of the Army, we decided that this is the right thing to do," said AER's director, retired Lt. Gen. Robert F. Foley. "Over the last decade, these leaders have been entrusted with increasing levels of responsibility and have demonstrated the required trust and confidence to warrant this change."
A policy change which became effective Sept. 30, enabled sergeants first class to go directly to AER for assistance. Prior to that, AER policy allowed only master sergeants and above direct access to AER assistance. Now all non-commissioned officers, officers and warrant officers can apply directly to their local AER office.
Soldiers E-1 thru E-4 are still required to complete the AER application and submit it to their company commander or first sergeant, for their recommendation, officials pointed out.
In addition to providing no-interest loans and grants for emergency travel, initial rent deposits and vehicle repairs, AER continues to be the organization of choice for Soldiers' unique financial needs to include household and appliance repair, dependent dental care and initial home furnishings.
Army Emergency Relief is a private non-profit organization dedicated to providing financial assistance to Soldiers, active and retired, and their families. Since its incorporation in 1942, AER has provided more than $1.5 billion to more than 3.5 million Soldiers, families and retirees.