The United States Army, in coordination with the Defense Department, is celebrating Military Saves Week Feb. 25 through March 4. This is part of the DoD Financial Readiness campaign, and the purpose is to encourage Soldiers and their families to establish positive fiscal management habits through savings and financial planning.

"If you have credit card debt, you are in bondage," said Suze Orman, financial analyst. Ms. Orman, television host of the Suze Orman show, and author on many books on financial freedom from debt, has joined the Military Saves campaign to give advice to Soldiers through public service announcements due to be seen throughout the Army and the military. Her advice warns Soldiers to eliminate their debt and to avoid predatory lenders that are charging exorbitant interest rates.

Financial security directly impacts Army readiness and reduces stress for Soldiers and their dependents. The Department of Defense has teamed up with the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) to provide tools, resources and financial counseling to service members through the website The Army's Family Morale Welfare and Recreation Command supports the effort through a month-long media campaign encouraging Soldiers and their families to participate, and special events through the Better Opportunity for Single Soldiers network to encourage single Soldiers to be more fiscally responsible.

Saving money is within the capability of all Soldiers, and doing so protects them and their families in peacetime and during times of conflict. Programs like the Thrift Savings Plan and Savings Deposit Program make it easy for Soldiers to save, once they know where to go for help and how important it is to them and their families.

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