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About Army Emergency Relief


Army Emergency Relief (AER) is a private nonprofit organization incorporated in 1942 by the Secretary of War and the Army Chief of Staff. Although AER is a private corporation, it is, in effect, the US Army’s own emergency financial assistance organization. AER is dedicated to “Helping the Army Take Care of Its Own” and providing emergency financial assistance to the following persons:

  • Soldiers on extended active duty and their dependents.
  • Reserve component soldiers (ARNG and US Army Reserve) serving under Title 10, US Code, on continuous active duty for more than 30 days and their dependents.
  • Soldiers retired from active duty and their dependents.
  • Surviving spouses and orphans of eligible soldiers who died while on active duty or after they retired.

AER can provide emergency financial assistance for the following: rent, utilities, food, emergency travel, emergency privately owned vehicle (POV) repair, non-receipt of pay, funeral expenses, emergency medical or dental expenses, clothing after fire or other disasters. Unless unusual circumstances exist, AER cannot assist with the following: ordinary leave or vacations, fines or legal expenses, debt payments, home purchases or improvements, purchase, rental or lease of a vehicle, funds to cover bad checks, and marriage or divorce. AER assistance is normally in the form of is available as a grant or combination loan and grant.

The AER provides emergency financial assistance to soldiers and their dependents. However, as a secondary mission it provides monetary assistance for undergraduate education of dependent children of soldiers (active duty, retired or deceased) and spouses of active duty soldiers in certain overseas locations.

Active duty soldiers who wish to request AER assistance may obtain the appropriate application form (DA 1103) through their unit and must obtain their commander’s recommendation. Unaccompanied family members, surviving spouses or orphans, retirees, and others not assigned to or under control of your installation may obtain the necessary forms at any local AER office. All applicants must provide their military ID card and substantiating documents (i.e., car repair estimate, rental contract, etc.).

Soldiers and their dependents can also receive assistance at any Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Air Force Aid Society, or Coast Guard Mutual Assistance office. If they are not near a military installation, soldiers and their dependents can receive assistance through their local chapter of the American Red Cross. For more information visit your local AER office, the AER website at, or refer to AR 930-4, Army Emergency Relief.

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