WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Feb. 25, 2011) -- As the Department of Defense's fifth annual "Military Saves" week draws to a close, Soldiers and other servicemembers continue to have opportunities to learn to save money year-round.

"There's a number of services available at garrison, and all Soldiers have to do is contact their local Army Community Services center and meet with a financial readiness program manger and they can help," said Michael Wood, the financial readiness division program manager at the U.S. Army Family and Military, Welfare and Recreation Command.

The Department of Defense's "Military Saves" week, which began Feb. 20, was meant to focus servicemembers on the importance of strong fiscal management and saving habits. The week was a kick off to the larger, year-long Military Saves Campaign, which itself is part of the larger America Saves national campaign, conducted by the Consumer Federation of America.

The national campaign includes over 1,000 non-profit, government, and corporate groups encouraging families to build personal wealth.

The Military Saves program is a year-round project for all DOD services and is broken into quarters that focus on saving and investing and military youth, as well as two quarters that focus on debt reduction and retirement.

"Soldiers are excited about learning ways to pay off their debt and reach their financial goals," said Wood.

Within the Military Saves program, saving tools such as "The Saver Pledge" can be completed online and gives the option to sign up for electronic newsletters and "e-Wealth coach" advice.

"Last year, the Army had the most savers 6,552 of the total 18,427 throughout DOD," said Wood. "Those numbers are a direct result of our Army installations efforts in sponsoring financial savings events, programs and savings incentives and financial education and training."

Installations across the world conduct classes and workshops on saving and investing, basic money management, wise use of credit, retirement planning and other financial topics.

For more information on the topic, visit the Military Saves campaign website at www.militarysaves.org.