Army Emergency Relief (AER) was incorporated as a private nonprofit organization on 5 February 1942 under the laws of the District of Columbia for the purpose of collecting and holding funds to relieve distress of members of the Army and their dependents.
Upon merger of Army Relief Society (ARS) with AER on 2 July 1976, AER assumed the ARS mission of providing financial assistance to widows/widowers and orphans of deceased Regular Army personnel.The AER National Headquarters is located in Alexandria, Virginia. Its primary mission is to provide financial assistance to Soldiers, Retirees, and their Families.
- AER is the Army's own emergency financial assistance organization and is dedicated to "Helping the Army Take Care of its Own."
- AER provides Commanders a valuable asset in helping to enhance the morale and welfare of Soldiers and their Families.
- AER funds are made available to Commanders to provide emergency financial assistance based on a valid need to Soldiers - active and retired - and their dependents.
AER financial assistance is conducted within the Army structure by mission commanders and garrison commanders through the 78 AER Sections located at U.S. Army installations worldwide.
Through reciprocal agreements between AER and the other Military Aid Societies, Soldiers and their dependents have access to emergency financial assistance from AER through representatives from the Air Force Aid Society, Coast Guard Mutual Assistance, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society and the American Red Cross at 908 locations around the world.