Fort Jackson kicks off 2023 AER campaign

A group of men pose for a photo holding a bowling trophy made out of a bowling pin.

Emily Hileman | Fort Jackson Public Affairs Office | March 9, 2023

Fort Jackson kicked off the 2023 Army Emergency Relief campaign with a bowling competition at Century Lanes, March 3.
The annual event is held to highlight the Army Emergency Relief campaign and to raise funds to help active duty and retired Soldiers with financial assistance.

According to Army Regulation 930-4, Army Emergency Relief, the Army’s only nonprofit organization, provides emergency financial assistance in the form of non-interest-bearing loans, grants, or a combination of the two. Since its inception in 1942, more than $2 billion has been provided for more than 4 million Soldiers and nearly $1 billion has been distributed since 9/11.

Other installations have Fort Jackson’s number, said retired Col. Eldon Mullis, deputy director and chief operating officer of AER.

“Fort Jackson has raised more funds than any other large Army installation for the past two AER campaigns,” he said.

Last year Fort Jackson raised $140,676 during the annual campaign and $201,803 in 2021.

For the 2022 fiscal year, Fort Jackson’s AER office distributed more than $900,000 to Soldiers and their Families. AER receives funding through donations from Soldiers, both active and retired, and outside corporations.

Those eligible for emergency financial assistance are active-duty Soldiers and their eligible dependents, Reserve Soldiers on Title 10 orders for more than 30 days and their eligible dependents, retirees and their eligible dependents, surviving spouses who have not remarried and the children of Soldiers who died on active duty.

“We cover almost anything that helps me maintain my life for myself and my family,” Rob Meredith, Army Emergency Relief specialist said. “We help with (privately owned vehicles) repairs, insurance, but not registration and other household type stuff like food, utilities, rent, mortgage, medical expenses that insurance may not fully cover.”

“If someone within your immediate Family passes away and you have to travel for the funeral. Because of the circumstances, we can even grant you half of the expenses,” Meredith added. “For example, if the total cost of the flights are $1,000, we grant them $500 and they only pay back the other $500.”

For these situations, a Red Cross notification must be received, and the Soldier is required to have a DA-31 emergency leave form signed by their commander.

There is also no dollar limit to the amount of assistance AER can provide, but supporting documents are usually required.

Fort Jackson’s Army Community Service team doesn’t just help with the immediate financial need, but they also work with Soldiers and their Families to prevent further financial hardship by helping them develop a budget and a plan for moving forward.

“Our key thing is to educate. I can give you a fish and you’ll eat for a day, but if I teach you to fish, by educating you, you’ll eat for a lifetime.”

ACS services are free and confidential to anyone who qualifies. Contact the AER team at 803-751-9814 or visit for more information.



A man wearing a black polo shirt with an Army unit crest embroidered on it holds up a sign that reads "I Donated" whilst standing in a bowling alley.
A Fort Jackson, South Carolina, Soldier shows his support for Army Emergency Relief after donating during the installation’s Annual Campaign kickoff.
A trophy made out of a red and white bowling pin sits on a table in a bowling alley.
The coveted Fort Jackson bowling trophy awaits the winning team at Fort Jackson’s AER Annual Campaign kickoff.