An official army family and MWR Site

Army Emergency Relief (AER)

Army Emergency Relief (AER) is a private non-profit organization incorporated in 1942 by the Secretary of War and Army Chief of Staff. AER's mission is to provide emergency financial assistance.

Army Emergency Relief (AER) Overview


Army Emergency Relief is the U.S. Army's own nonprofit organization dedicated to alleviating financial distress on the force. AER provides grants and zero-interest loans to Active Duty and Retired Soldiers and their Families. Over 4 million Soldiers supported since 1942. AER officers are conveniently located at installations around the world. Visit to learn more.

Education Programs

AER’s Education Program is a secondary mission to help Army Families with the costs of education. The three separate scholarship programs are:

Stateside Spouse Education Assistance Program
• Applicant must be the Spouse or widow(er) of an active duty or retired Soldier and reside in the United States. 
• Stateside applicants must be full time students. 
• First undergraduate degrees only.
• Active duty military personnel are not eligible.

Overseas Spouse Education Assistance Program Major General James Ursano Scholarship Fund for Dependent Children.

Overseas Spouse Education Assistance Program 
• Applicants must be a Spouse of an active duty Soldier assigned in Europe, Korea, Japan, or Okinawa. 
• Applicants must physically reside with the Soldier at the assigned location. 
• First undergraduate degrees only.
• Off post students are not eligible.
• Spouses may be part time or full time students.

Major General James Ursano Scholarship Fund for Dependant Children 
• Dependent children, stepchildren, or legally adopted children of Army Soldiers on active duty, retired or deceased while in active duty or retired status.

The children of Grey Area Reservists/National Guard are eligible as well.

Scholarship awards will be awarded up to half the cost of tuition. Scholarship awards are based on financial need, as evidenced by income, assets, Family size, and special circumstances.

Applications and instructions are available for all the scholarships on the AER website at

AER Resources and Forms

View all AER forms. 

Who does AER help?
  • Active duty soldiers, single or married, and their dependents
  • ARNG and USAR soldiers on active duty for more than 30 days and their dependents
  • Soldiers retired from active duty for longevity or physical disability, and their dependents
  • ARNG and USAR soldiers who retired at age 60, and their dependents
  • Surviving spouses and orphans of soldiers who died while on active duty or after they retired
What can AER do?

Help with emergency financial needs for:

  • Food, rent or utilities
  • Emergency transportation
  • Funeral expenses
  • Emergency medical/dental expenses
  • Personal needs when pay is delayed or stolen
  • Give undergraduate-level education scholarships, based primarily on financial needs, to children of soldiers.

The AER Stateside Spouse's Education Assistance Program (SEAP) is an educational program designed to provide spouses of active duty Army soldiers and widow(ers) of Army soldiers financial assistance in furthering their education.

What can't AER do?
  • Help pay for nonessentials
  • Finance ordinary leave or vacation
  • Pay fines or legal expenses
  • Help liquidate or consolidate debt
  • Assist with house purchase
  • Cover bad checks or pay credit card bills
How do I find AER when I need help?
  • Soldiers may contact AER directly at at 804-734-6388/7954/7952 for an appointment unless the following exception applies:
    • Soldiers in the grades of E-1 through E-4 in Initial Entry Training (IET) will not be authorized direct access. They will continue to submit AER requests through the unit Chain of Command.
    • All Soldiers in the grade of E-1 through E-4 must have a minimum of 12 months' Time in Service (TIS) and have completed IET whichever is greater in order to be eligible for direct access
    • Regardless of rank, financial assistance will be limited to two assistance requests (loan or grant) within a 12 month period without the Commander/First Sergeant review.
    • All Soldiers, regardless of rank, who exhibit "high risk" financial behavior IAW AR 600-85 and SecArmy Directive 2013-11(Change to the Army Risk Reduction Program), will require Company Commander/First Sergeant review before AER assistance will be considered.
What should I bring with me?
  • Military ID card
  • Latest end of month Leave and Earnings Statement (LES)
  • Emergency Leave (DA Form 31)/PCS order
  • Substantiating documents (major car repair estimates, rental agreement, eviction notice, utility bill, disconnection notice, etc)
Can my spouse get AER help if I'm away?

Yes. Spouse should bring:

  • Power of Attorney
  • Military ID card
  • Substantiating documents
How long does it take to get AER help?

You can expect a quick decision on your request for assistance.

What kind of assistance can I expect?
  • An interest-free loan
  • A grant if repayment of loan will cause undue hardship
  • Or, part loan and part grant
Is there a dollar limit on AER help?

No. AER assistance will meet your emergency need.

Where does AER get its funds?
  • Voluntary contributions from active and retired soldiers
  • Repayment of AER interest-free loans
  • Income from investments
  • Unsolicited contributions