By LTC Robert CainFebruary 26, 2009
Military Saves Week, taking place right now from February 23 through March 1st, 2009, kicks off a year-long campaign titled Military Saves '09. The purpose of this program is to encourage Soldiers to save more money, and establish 'emergency funds' to protect their families while they are mobilized.
With the cooperation of the savings organization Military Saves, the Department of Defense, and the Army's Family Morale Welfare Recreation Command (FMWRC) will promote quarterly themes that will cover Saving and Investment, Youth Military Savings programs, debt reduction, and saving for retirement. FMWRC is working with installations and family support groups to assist and organize the savers events while working closely with DoD and the Military Saves organization. "Financial readiness is just as important to Soldier readiness as any other force-multiplier," said Col. Brick Miller, commander of FMWRC. "A Soldier can't focus on the mission at hand when worrying about personal or family finances . . .and families can't properly support the Soldier at war when dealing with a financial crisis."
Soldiers today are faced with the same decisions and temptations as the civilian population when it comes to financial issues. Predatory creditors with outrageous interest rates, dubious credit card deals, and too-good-to-be-true offers for consumer goods can put Soldiers in difficult financial positions, especially when faced with the additional challenges of mobilization and deployment. Military Saves promotes the concept of building wealth through saving and avoiding financial pitfalls.
Leaders across the Army, especially non-commissioned officers leading from the front, know that informed decisions about finances directly contribute to unit readiness. Command Sgt. Maj. Abe Vega, the senior non-commissioned officer of FMWRC, could not agree more. "The Military Saves campaign is about decisions," Vega stated. "Making informed decisions about financial readiness is what saving is all about."
Military Saves is working together with DoD and the Army to meet immediate needs of the Soldier by showing how to build long term wealth through reducing debt and employing proven saver's habits. This year Soldiers have the opportunity demonstrate their commitment to financial responsibility by signing a Savers Pledge. Soldiers will be provided assistance in reducing debt and accessing advice on credit card debt, mortgages, and saving. Information on Military Saves can be accessed at the Web site, http://www.militarysaves.org/.