- 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 ArmyEmergencyRelief.org to learn more.
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 https://www.armyemergencyrelief.org/resources/
- AER Resources and Forms
- Army Family Action Plan
The Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) is your platform to voice quality-of-life issues, feedback, ideas, and suggestions. It’s the best way to let Army leadership know about what works, what doesn’t, and how you think problems can be resolved. We give Active and Reserve Component Soldiers, Army Civilians, Retirees, Survivors, and Family members a primary tool to help identify issues and concerns and shape your standards of living.
You can submit issues at your garrison’s Army Community Service office or to a unit Family Programs liaison. Army OneSource also facilitates AFAP issues online and makes sure your concerns get the attention they deserve. The information you submit gives Army leadership insight and helps foster a satisfied, informed, and resilient Army Community.
AFAP makes a meaningful difference. Since AFAP was created in 1983, over 698 issues have been submitted, resulting in 128 legislative changes, 186 Department of Defense or Army policy changes, and 210 improved programs or services.
Here’s a sample of AFAP results:
- Dedicated Special Needs Space in Child, Youth, and School Services (CYSS)
- Distribution of Montgomery GI Bill benefits to dependents
- Annual Leave carryover increase from 60 to 75 days
- Extended educational benefits for Spouses
- Dental and visual insurance coverage for Federal Employees
- Medical Coverage for Activated Reserve Component Families
- Military pay table (targeted pay raises)
- Military Thrift Savings Plan
- TRICARE for Life for eligible Retirees
- Funding for Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (B.O.S.S.)
- Active Duty Enlisted Soldier Compassionate Reassignment Stabilization
- SGLI increases
- Minimum standards for Army Child Care
- In-state tuition for Military Dependents
To submit an issue or suggestion, go to your local Army Community Service office or Army OneSource.
- Other Army Family Team Building Resources
You can also go online to www.Myarmyonesource.com, Click on Family Programs, And then select AFAP.
Follow the prompts to submit an AFAP issue.
- Army Family Team Building
Army Family Team Building (AFTB) empowers you, through self-development and leadership skills, basic Army knowledge and specialized training, to maximize your personal and professional potential.
- AFTB (Level I) Military Knowledge (K) Modules train basic information about the Army: You’ll learn about Army life and how to manage daily challenges by discovering how to decipher Army acronyms, use community resources, attain better financial readiness, and understand the goal and impact of the Army mission on daily life.
- AFTB (Level II) Personal Growth and Resiliency (G) Modules train personal growth skills: Learn how to improve your personal relationships, communication and stress-management skills. Discover how teams form and grow, how to solve problems, and how to resolve personal conflict. You’ll also learn about Army traditions, customs, courtesies and protocol.
- AFTB (Level III) Leadership Development (L) Modules train leadership skills: Thrive in the Army and civilian life by expanding leadership skills. You'll learn effective communication techniques and how to mentor others into leadership positions. You’ll understand the different leadership styles, how to run an effective meeting, manage group conflict, and how to be an effective coach.
AFTB improves personal and family preparedness. It enhances overall Army readiness and the ability for America’s Army to adapt to a changing world.
For more information, contact your Army Community Service Family Program office or Army OneSource.
- Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)
- EFMP (Exceptional Family Member Program)
The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) provides comprehensive support to family members with special needs. EFMP takes an all-inclusive approach to coordinate military and civilian community, educational, medical, housing, and personnel services to help Soldiers and their Families with special needs.
An Exceptional Family Member is a Family member with any physical, emotional, developmental, or intellectual disorder that requires special treatment, therapy, education, training, or counseling, and meets the eligibility criteria.
Soldiers* with Exceptional Family Members are required to register for EFMP and keep enrollment information current. This way, Family needs will be considered during the OCONUS assignments process.
If you’re eligible for EFMP services, Family members must be screened and enrolled when they accompany authorized Soldiers on OCONUS assignments. Screenings include medical records review for all Family members and developmental screening for all children aged 72 months and younger.
For more information about EFMP, contact the EFMP point of contact through your nearest Army medical treatment facility.
*Who must enroll in the program?
(1) Active Army
(2) U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) Soldiers in the Active Guard Reserve (AGR) Program
(3) Army National Guard (ARNG) AGR personnel serving under authority of 10 USC and 32 USC.
Department of the Army civilian employees do not enroll in the program.
You must identify dependent children with special education and medically related service needs and, Family members with medical needs each time they process for an assignment to a location outside the United States, where Family member travel is authorized at government expense.
- EFMP Contact
Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) enrollement and overseas screening call the West Point Office. Distance 62.62 Miles / 1 hr. 34 min.
- Employment Readiness Program (ERP)
The Employment Readiness Program (ERP) offers resources to help with your career plan and job search. Whether you’re a military spouse or Family member who just moved to a new installation, Retiree, or DoD civilian looking for new opportunities, or active duty Military, active Reserve, National Guard member, or Wounded Warrior, we’re here to help.
Our services include:
- Up-to-date information on local, national, and international employment opportunities, job market trends and education, and volunteer resources
- Classes and seminars on self-assessment and career exploration, resume writing, interviewing techniques, dressing for success, networking, and entrepreneurship.
- Résumé critiques
- Career counseling and individual career assessments
- Job fairs and other hiring events
- Teen/youth employment information
- Computers with internet access, résumé-writing software, and typing tutorials
- Virtual Career Library access
Contact your Employment Readiness Program manager (ERPM) for more information.
- Family Advocacy Program
The U.S. Army Family Advocacy Program (FAP) helps Soldiers and their Families recognize and prepare for the unique challenges of military lifestyles. Our services include seminars, workshops, counseling, and intervention to help strengthen the relationships of Army Families.
We are also dedicated to the prevention domestic abuse, child abuse, and neglect of Soldiers and their Families through offering education, prompt reporting, investigation, intervention, and treatment.
If you need help, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at +1 (800)799-7233. You should also contact your installation’s Family Advocacy Program for more information.
- Financial Readiness
The Financial Readiness Program is your resource for information on money matters. We can help you better understand financial topics like:
- Military pay
- Checkbook/debit card management
- Financial responsibility
- Credit reporting
- Debt elimination strategies
We can also help you learn about other financial services, including:
- Army Emergency Relief (AER): 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 ArmyEmergencyRelief.org to learn more."
- Education Program: Offers need-based scholarships to help eligible Army Families with education costs.
For more information about how the Financial Readiness Program can help you, contact your nearest Army Community Service Center.
Other helpful financial readiness links include:
- Thrift Savings Plan: A Federal Government-sponsored long-term retirement savings and investment plan, available for both Federal civilian employees and members of the uniformed services.
- U.S. Savings Bonds: A shorter-term savings option with competitive interest rates and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.
- Military Saves: A component of the nonprofit America Saves and a partner in the Department of Defense’s Financial Readiness Campaign, Military Saves seeks to motivate, support, and encourage military Families to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth.
- Money Matters: A mobile-optimized resource with calculators for savings, debt reduction and other reference material in one location.
- Housing Resources for Military Members: The National Military Family Association has compiled a great list of resources to help Military Families who are struggling with the pitfalls of the housing crisis.
- Army OneSource: Network of the services and delivery of support to Soldiers and their Families.
- Military OneSource: A Department of Defense-funded program that provides comprehensive information on every aspect of military life at no cost to active duty, National Guard, reserve members, and their Families.
- Office of Servicemember Affairs: A component of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau helps to educate and empower military members, veterans, and their Families in the consumer financial marketplace.
- Saveandinvest.org: A project of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, a free, unbiased resource dedicated to your financial health. Helps you make informed decisions through easy-to-use tools and resources, and arms you with the information you need to protect yourself from investment fraud.
- Better Business Bureau Military Line: Provides specialized education and support services, which meet the needs of active and retired military personnel and their Families.
Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance (FSSA) Pre-screening
Pre-screening and counseling for Soldiers who qualify for the FSSA entitlement. FSSA is an entitlement authorized by Congress in 2001 and created to supplement the Soldier's Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS). This entitlement will not exceed $1100 per month. Information and application for FSSA is web-based and can be found under the "Life Events that Impact Your Benefits" tab.
- Mobilization, Deployment, and Support Stability Operations
The Mobilization, Deployment, and Support Stability Operations (MDSSO) helps support community readiness during deployments and emergencies. We help make sure installation programs align with unit deployment cycles, provide pre- and post-deployment support, and help unit Commanders with their Family Readiness plans and deployment support services for Service Members and their Families. We’re responsible for operating an Emergency Family Assistance Center in the case of an all-hazards event, and supporting Service Members and Families during Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations (NEO) and Repatriation. We also act as a case manager for all requests for assistance through the Army Disaster Personnel Accountability and Assessment System (ADPAAS).
Some of our resources include:
- Pre- and Post-Deployment Support: Helps prepare Soldiers and Families for deployments and reintegration by providing trainings and resources throughout the deployment cycle in a variety of settings.
- Family Readiness Groups: Designed to make sure Families have information they need and develop a military support group while their Soldier is deployed. Virtual Family Readiness Groups also provide secure environments in which the Commander can communicate directly with Soldiers and Families 24 hours a day, no matter where they are.
- Emergency Family Assistance: Your link to continuous support and assistance as well as authoritative and accurate information in a sensitive, timely, and effective manner.
- Army Disaster Personnel Accountability and Assessment System (ADPAAS): Ensures all Army personnel and their dependents are accounted for during emergency situations.
- NEO/Repatriation: We help the State Department help those who have been displaced after national emergencies and disasters.
For more information on Mobilization, Deployment, and Support Stability Operations support in your community, contact your local Army Community Service office and ask for the Mobilization and Deployment program manager or specialist.
Other helpful links:
- Operation READY: “READY” stands for “Resources for Educating About Deployment and You.” It’s a training and information resource developed from lessons learned in the Persian Gulf War and used in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) / Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). The training covers learning about the types of military separation, planning and preparing personal documents, and completing family financial arrangements.
- Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness (CSF2): Provides hands-on training and self-development tools so that members of the Army Family are better able to cope with adversity, perform better in stressful situations, and thrive in life.
- Taking Care of Business: This video shares information that helps deploying Soldiers make necessary arrangements to ensure that loved ones will be taken care of if the worst happens. It explains which forms and documents to complete before deploying to ensure that final wishes are observed.
- New Parent Support Program
- Relocation Readiness Program
Moving is a part of life for Soldiers, civilian government employees and their Families. The Army Community Service Relocation Readiness Program is here to help with a comprehensive support system, whether it’s your first move or the last of many. We have all kinds of information and resources to help you and your family navigate your next military move.
Your first stop should be your local Army Community Service Family center to meet with a Relocation Readiness Program Manager who can get you started.
- SHARP (Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program) Contact
USAG Fort Hamilton Army Community Service Bldg. 114 White Ave.
Fort Hamilton 24 Hr. Hotline +1(347)452.4302
Safe Helpline +1(877)995.5247 / safehelpline.org
- Soldier and Family Assistance Center
The Soldier and Family Assistance Center (SFAC) is a one-stop location built to equip and aid Wounded, Ill, and Injured Soldiers who are assigned or attached to Warrior Transition Units. SFAC services help these Soldiers make life-changing decisions as they transition back to duty or on to civilian life. We strive to deliver tailored, compassionate, and coordinated transitional services designed to promote self-reliance, wellness, and healing during their medical recuperation and transition. The facilities provide a warm, relaxed environment where Soldiers and their Families can gather to foster physical, spiritual, and mental healing.
The SFAC coordinates and refers services like:
- Information and Referral assistance: Provides reception services and general orientation.
- Military Personnel Services: Help coordinate military records and information, as well as identification cards and records management, where available.
- Entitlement and Benefits services: Help with education plans, benefits review, Family member education support, and other career-enhancing information.
- Soldier for Life: A Transition Assistance Program that supports mandatory Transition requirements and services.
- Financial Counseling: Provides credit management, budget development, consumer information and awareness, financial counseling and assistance. It also provides emergency financial assistance in the form of loans or grants, and monetary assistance for undergraduate education for dependent children.
- Substance Abuse information and referral for Family members.
- Coordination of Legal and Pastoral Services.
- Help to find lodging resources for Family members.
- Child Care Referral provides registration services for all Child, Youth, and School Services programs including Sports and Family Child Care (FCC) homes.
- Coordination with Army Reserve, National Guard, and State and Local Agencies.
If you’d like more information or need help, contact an SFAC Representative.
Wounded, Ill, and Injured Soldiers and their Families expect and deserve the very best care and leadership from America’s Army.
- Special Needs Accommodation Process (SNAP)
- Survivor Outreach Services (SOS)
- Victim Advocacy Program
The Victim Advocacy Program (VAP) provides emergency and follow-up support services to adult victims of domestic abuse. Advocacy services are available to Service members, their current or former spouses, an individual with whom the Service member shares a child, and significant others of Service members who live together. Our services are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Our trained professionals are here for crisis response, information on reporting options, medical treatment options, law enforcement’s response, emergency services, safety planning, obtaining military and civilian protective orders, and accompaniment to medical forensic exams and medical appointments, as well as accompaniment to court for orders of protection hearings and trials. Advocates work closely with their civilian counterparts and ensure a personal and smooth transition for victims who do not qualify for ongoing advocacy services within the military community.
If you need help or want more information, contact the Victim Advocacy Program Manager at your local Army Community Service Center.
The Army is fully committed to ensuring victims of domestic abuse are protected; treated with dignity and respect; and provided support, advocacy and care. The Army strongly supports effective command awareness and prevention programs, and holding offenders accountable.
There are two types of reporting options: Restricted Reporting and Unrestricted Reporting. Personnel should report all suspected cases of domestic abuse promptly, which quickly activates victim services and accountability actions. However, we understand things might not always work that way. Victims might need medical attention or victim services without command or a law enforcement response. Therefore, the Army has implemented a Restricted Reporting Option for victims to confidentially disclose allegations of abuse and receive needed medical treatment and services.
Allows someone who meets VAP criteria and who is experiencing violence in his/her relationship to confidentially disclose the abuse to a Victim Advocate, a Victim Advocate Supervisor, or a Healthcare Provider. When an individual chooses a restricted report, law enforcement is not involved and there is no investigation of the abuse. In addition, the Soldier’s Command is not notified of the abuse and is unable to offer assistance and protection.
The restricted reporting option allows an individual to receive medical treatment, advocacy services and clinical and pastoral counseling. This option allows one to receive needed services, control the release of his/her personal information, and time to consider his/her options.
Under this reporting option, the offender is not held accountable and the abuse may continue. If an assessment reveals a high risk for future injury, a restricted report may not be granted.
Victims of domestic abuse who want to pursue an official investigation of an incident should report the abuse to law enforcement, or the alleged offender’s Commander. The unrestricted reporting option provides a victim with the widest array of services available including but not limited to command involvement, law enforcement involvement, medical treatment, advocacy services, and counseling services.
Not all incidents of domestic abuse are the same, and each person who experiences domestic abuse handles the situation differently.
Commanders play an integral part in ensuring the safety, health, and well being of our Army Families. Commanders who learn of an incident of domestic abuse are required to notify law enforcement.
- The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for your dignity and privacy.
- The right to be reasonably protected from the accused offender.
- The right to be notified of court proceedings.
- The right to be present at all public court proceedings related to the offense, unless the court determines that your testimony would be materially affected if you, as the victim, heard other testimony at trial.
- The right to confer with the attorney for the government in the case; the right to available restitution; the right to information about the conviction, sentencing, imprisonment, and release of the offender.
A violent relationship puts you and your children at risk for injury and even death. Developing a safety plan tailored to meet the needs of your family will enable you get out of a potentially dangerous situation. If your children are old enough, mature enough, or even responsible enough to assist you during a violent or potentially violent episode of domestic abuse, you may consider including them in your plan to keep everyone safe. A good safety plan considers which steps to take if you choose to stay in the relationship or if you choose to leave.
Here are some tips during the explosive phase of domestic abuse:
- Move to a room with easy access to an exit. Don't go to the kitchen, bathroom or near possible weapons.
- Know the quickest route out of your home. Practice escaping that way.
- Know the quickest route out of your workplace. Practice escaping that way. Domestic violence does not just occur in your home.
- Pack a bag and have it ready. Keep it hidden but make it easy to grab quickly.
- Tell your neighbors about your abuse and ask them to call the police when they hear a disturbance.
- Have a code word to use with your kids, family and friends. They will know to call the police and get you help.
- Know where you are going to go, if you ever have to leave.
- Use your instincts.
- You have the right to protect yourself and your children.
Develop a Safety Plan
Military Protection Orders (MPO)
Unit Commanders may issue a Military Protective Order (MPO) to ensure the safety of service members, family members, and other individuals from the threat of domestic violence. An MPO is a written lawful order issued by a commander that orders a Soldier to avoid contact with his or her spouse or children. The commander should provide a written copy of the order within 24 hours of its issuance to the protected person, the Military Police and civilian law enforcement. An individual should report violations of the MPO to law enforcement.
Civilian Protection Orders (CPO)
A Civilian Order of Protection is an order signed by a Judge that directs an individual to stop abusing, stalking, harassing and/or committing acts of sexual violence against an individual. An individual may file a CPO against current or former spouse, someone that an individual shares a child in common, an individual with whom you have shared a residence with, someone related to you by blood or marriage or someone with whom you have dated or had intimate relations.
- United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women
- National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence
- Stalking Resource Center
- Statewide directory for laws, courts, emergency shelters, orders of protection
- Battered Women's Justice Project
- The Family Violence Prevention Fund
- Women's Justice Center– Also is Spanish
- Mind, Body, Spirit Empowered - Materials translated into many languages
- Marriage and Equality – Materials translated into many languages
- Family Advocacy Program Contact
The US Army Family Advocacy Program (FAP) is dedicated to domestic and Child abuse prevention, education, prompt reporting, investigation, intervention and treatment. The Army provides a variety of services to Soldiers and Families to enhance their relationship skills and improve their quality of life. This mission is accomplished through a variety of groups, seminars, workshops and counseling and intervention services.
To report an incident call
Fort Hamilton: 718.630.4242
West Point: 845.938.0633
24 Hr. Hotline: 609.667.4534
- Army Volunteer Corps
Volunteers make a meaningful difference in the lives of Soldiers and their Families every day. Army Volunteer Corps (AVC) is designed to help you find local volunteering opportunities with organizations that benefit the Army community.
The AVC has redefined volunteering within the Army. We embrace existing volunteer programs, unite all volunteers who support Soldiers and Families, including the Active Force, National Guard and Army Reserve, and formalize the Army’s commitment to volunteerism.
No matter where people volunteer in the Army community, they usually want to contribute to Soldiers and their Family members. We recognize this common goal and want to help you find the right opportunity for you.
Volunteering helps your community and helps you as well. When you participate with AVC, you’ll:
- Gain a sense of satisfaction/achievement by meeting challenges
- Learn about the Army, our sister services, and the community
- Acquire new skills and/or expand old ones
- Obtain work experience
- Build new friendships and become a cohesive part of the community
For Army Volunteer Corps Tools and More click HERE
Download the most updated ACS Brochure!
Download the PCS article.
Download the USAjobs Article.