Fort Benning hosts AER campaign kickoff rally

Four U.S. Soldiers in uniform put slips of paper into a donation box.

By Alexander Gago | Fort Benning Public Affairs Office | March 7, 2023

FORT BENNING, Georgia — The Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning hosted the Army Emergency Relief campaign at Fort Benning March 3 to promote awareness of programs that are available to Soldiers and their Families.

The annual kickoff rally was an opportunity for leaders to launch the campaign and provide information about AER programs and why they are so important to Soldiers.

“Our job is about taking care of our people, and for this reason that notification is so important, particularly for leaders and for Soldiers to understand what AER offers so that they are able to leverage it again to take care of our people,” said Maj. Gen. Curtis A. Buzzard, commanding general of the Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning.

AER offers financial assistance through grants, interest-free loans, and scholarships to promote readiness and help relieve financial distress.

“It’s not about the dollar amount that we give but it’s about the connection that we have with AER and the connection of the information. Multiple programs that are offered not just traditional grants and loans but a number of other things like scholarships,” said Col. Colin P. Mahle, Fort Benning garrison commander.

AER is the only nonprofit financial assistance organization which supports Soldiers and their Families.

“The AER has interest-free loans for Soldiers that are in uniform, but they also have interest-free loans for retirees. I am getting ready to retire and used AER for a career skills program grant, and I plan on using the money to buy a laptop to help me succeed in my internship, which will hopefully will transition me to a new job,” said Maj. Dewayne Webb.

For more information, contact the Fort Benning Army Community Service office. Donations can be made year-round at

For more on the AER Annual Campaign, go to