AER: Soldiers helping Soldiers since 1942

By Erickson BarnesApril 5, 2022

Command teams joined Fort Detrick AER representatives in March to show their support for the program.
Command teams joined Fort Detrick AER representatives in March to show their support for the program. (Photo Credit: USAG Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT DETRICK, Md. - Army Emergency Relief is the official nonprofit of the U.S. Army, and provided $44.8 million in loans and grants to almost 26,000 Soldiers and families in 2021.

"Army Emergency Relief has always been an important tool for commanders. In my nearly 40 years of service, I repeatedly witnessed the impact Army leaders had on their Soldiers’ lives by sending them to their AER office for financial assistance,” said AER chairman and retired general, John F. Campbell.

This high level of assistance was possible due to the support of donors. Contributing to AER is the most direct way to help Soldiers. Ninety cents of every dollar donated goes straight to Soldiers and families in need. Since 1942, the organization has relied on the camaraderie and generosity that exists between the men and women in uniform.

Categories of Assistance

All assistance requests are unique and considered on an individual basis, but some categories for consideration include:

Emergency travel; natural disaster preparation and evacuation; mortgage, rent and initial deposit; temporary lodging; food; healthcare not covered by TRICARE; vehicle costs; utilities; funeral expenses; PCS travel; home repair; special needs medical equipment; child care; and much more.


The following individuals are eligible for AER assistance in accordance with Army Regulation 930-4:

Soldiers on active duty and their eligible dependents; Army Reserve and National Guard Soldiers activated on Title 10 orders for more than 30 days and their eligible dependents; Soldiers retired for longevity, medical or upon reaching age 60 (reserve component) and their eligible dependents; surviving spouses who have not remarried and children of Soldiers who died on active duty or died after reaching retirement eligibility.

Three Ways to Apply

1. Talk to your chain of command

The fastest and most effective way to request financial assistance through AER is to talk to your chain of command. Your chain of command has the power to approve immediate financial assistance up to $2,000. Your chain of command can also refer you to the on-post AER officer. Your chain of command is empowered to help. Just ask!

2. Visit your AER officer

Any Soldier (active or retired) can visit their nearest AER officer. Officers are conveniently located at many Army installations around the world. No Army post nearby? No problem! Soldiers can visit any military installation and request AER assistance from any military aid society.

3. Call the American Red Cross

Not located within 50 miles of a military installation?

The American Red Cross is authorized to provide financial assistance on behalf of AER. Call the American Red Cross at 1-877-272-7337 and select the option for financial assistance.