Our History

Army Emergency Relief has been
helping Soldiers for over 74 years.

Over 74 Years of Soldiers Helping Soldiers

AER provides Soldiers and their Families assistance for a wide variety of financial situations with no interest or fees.
Your donation helps Soldiers in need.   Donate Now

1942

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.

Feb 5 – AER incorporated by the Secretary of War and Chief of Staff of the Army.

Oct 9 – “This is the Army” Opens at the National Theater in Washington, DC. All proceeds, totaling $12 million, went to AER.

1968

Assistance - $5.5 million; 86 AER Sections CONUS and 74 sections overseas.

1973

Established the Education Loan Program.

1976

Upon merger of Army Relief Society (ARS) with AER on 2 July 1976, AER assumed the ARS mission of providing scholarships to widows/widowers and orphans of deceased Regular Army personnel.

1977

New categories of assistance – food, utilities, essential vehicle repair.

Change in eligibility for AER assistance. Eligibility extended to members of the reserve components who would be on continuous active duty for a period in excess of 30 days.

1991

Met the need of increase support for Soldiers and Families, including mobilized RC Soldiers in Desert Storm.

1997

AER Board of Managers named the AER Scholarship for Dependent Children the MG James Ursano Scholarship Program.

2001

Support to 9/11 - responded with program for lifetime benefits counseling.

2007

Retiree outreach program begins.

2011

AER initiates social media presence.

Additional categories of Assistance: cranial helmets, car seats, appliance repair, HVAC repair.

2012

Announced the consolidation of its spouse scholarship programs. This change allowed all Spouses to apply once, aligning both programs with the stateside spouses who will now be able to get assistance while only attending school part-time.

Additional Categories of Assistance; dependent dental care, basic furniture, rental car, replacement vehicle.

2015

Announced a policy change that will allow all Soldiers, regardless of rank, direct access to AER, with the exception of Soldiers in Basic Training, AIT, and Soldiers with less than one year time in service.

2016

On-line application available.


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Army Emergency Relief is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
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