Since 1942, AER has been helping and supporting Soldiers and their Families overcome financial hardships.

AER’s mission is to provide grants, interest-free loans and scholarships to promote readiness and help relieve financial distress of Soldiers and their Families.

USAG Rheinland-Pfalz Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen LaRocque recalled a time when he needed to utilize AER.

“I was a young sergeant with a wife taking care of two small children at home and only one car,” he said. “One day, the transmission blew, and we just didn’t have the cash on hand to pay for the repairs. That’s when my squad leader told me about AER, which provided an interest-free loan that enabled me to get the car fixed, get to work and support my Family.

“Fast-forward to 20 years later. I’m a command sergeant major at Fort Drum, and my father passed away. At the time, I did not have access to ready-cash and withdrawing from my investments would incur cash penalties so AER provided my Family and I a loan to help us all fly to his funeral,” continued LaRocque. “Once we arrived, we found out my father, himself a veteran, had requested that in lieu of flowers, people donate directly to AER or the USO, two programs that he strongly believed in.”

Most of the AER funds come from voluntary contributions and donations made by Soldiers and Retirees. Funds also come from loan repayments and investments made by the AER investment program. As a financial assistance organization, AER donates 90 cents for every dollar received to Soldiers and Families in need.

“Army Emergency Relief has always been an important tool for commanders. In my nearly 40 years of service, I repeatedly witnessed the impact Army leaders had on their Soldiers’ lives by sending them to their AER office for financial assistance,” said retired Gen. John F. Campbell, AER chairman. “AER provided $65 million in loans, grants, and scholarships to almost 31,000 Soldiers and Families in 2022. This incredible amount of assistance was possible due to the support of our generous donors. Since our founding in 1942, this organization has relied on the camaraderie and generosity that exists between our men and women in uniform.”

Not only does the AER program provide emergency relief, it provides Soldiers a path to financial health by working hand-in-hand with the Army Community Service financial counselors.

There are over 30 categories of assistance offered by AER to help Soldiers and families through unexpected life events.

Soldiers and Families do not need to face hardships alone. It’s OK to ask for help and AER is a resource that is there to help. Every contribution provides support to Soldiers and their families.

All Soldiers, regardless of their rank, can apply for assistance by contacting the USAG Rheinland-Pfalz Army Community Services at the ACS satellite office on Smith Barracks in Baumholder, Bldg. 8666 or at the ACS main office on Kleber Kaserne in Kaiserslautern, Bldg. 3210.

For more information about the Army Emergency Relief program, please call the USAG Rheinland-Pfalz ACS Financial Readiness Program at DSN 541-9000 or 0611-143-541-9000.

The 2023 AER Annual Education and Fund-Raising Campaign runs from 1 March to 15 May. To donate, go to where you can set-up a one-time payment or a monthly donation. Service members also can set up donations by going through their unit leaders.

USAG Rheinland-Pfalz serves, supports and secures the total force community enabling power projection for the European Theater.

For more on the AER Annual Campaign, go to

A Soldier in uniform talks.
Sgt. Maj. Stephen LaRocque, USAG Rheinland-Pfalz’s senior noncommissioned officer, talks to Soldiers about the importance of overcoming financial hardships and ways in which AER can assist Soldiers and Families on Feb. 21, 2023, at the Hard Rock Diner on Smith Barracks in Baumholder, Germany.