Army Community Service
- Army Emergency Relief (AER)
Army Emergency Relief Application Packet
AER Application Packet (PDF)
*** In order to reduce customer wait times and improve overall service delivery, Army Emergency Relief (AER) customers will now be seen by appointment. It is very important that customers come prepared or they will have to be rescheduled. This packet provides detailed information on what is required in order to request AER assistance.
Army Emergency Relief offers two scholarship programs:
The Spouse Education Assistance Program provides scholarships for Spouses of Army Soldiers. Funds are available for Spouses pursuing their first undergraduate degree at an accredited college or university.
MG James Ursano Scholarship Program provides scholarships for Children of Army Soldiers. (Includes Active, Retired and Deceased.) Funds are available for Children who are pursuing their first undergraduate degree at an accredited college or university.
Scholarship Timeline: Applications and information are available on AER’s website the first week of January at www.aerhq.org.
For more information please call at +1(301)677-5590
When the numbers just won’t crunch,
you don’t have to think too much;
Call Army Emergency Relief, when finances give you grief!
AER is “Soldiers Helping Soldiers” in times of unexpected, unplanned, unanticipated emergency. The AER Office provides emergency financial assistance to Soldiers, both active and retired, and to Reservists and Guard activated under Title 10 for 30 days or more. That assistance extends to their Family Members, with the Soldier’s consent, and also to Widows and Orphans.
Assistance is evaluated on a case by case basis but all should conform to the governing regulation which is AR 930-4. AER will consider cases in the following areas:
- Non-Receipt of Pay
- Loss of Funds
- Medical, Dental and Hospital expenses
- Funeral Expenses
- Emergency Travel Expenses
- POV Repair and Maintenance
All Soldiers, regardless of grade/rank, are allowed direct access to AER without the Unit Commander's review and approval/concurrence with specific safeguards. Call our office for an appointment: +1(301)677-5590
Please bring your supporting documentation of the emergency.
Financial Emergency Assistance for Reservist and National Guard
Eligibility: Must be on full time deployment or recently returned from deployment to a combat zone or homeland security position. Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund
Please note: in order to receive a loan, applicant must have been employed with the federal government for one year or longer.
- Army Family Action Plan (AFAP)
Army Family Action Plan (AFAP)
AFAP allows every sector of our blended military community to have a voice. Active Duty Military members (all branches), Reserve and National Guard, Family members, Retirees, Surviving Spouses, Department of Army Civilians and Partner Commands identify issues, prioritize, and elevate concerns important to maintaining quality standards of living in their military community to recommend change.
An AFAP issue is any issue or concern that affects the readiness and well-being of the community and can be submitted at anytime. It is a process that allows community members to say what works, what does not work and how things can be changed to improve the quality of life within the military community. AFAP, focus groups review, monitor, and track every issue until a resolution is found. Issues that can be resolved locally are sent to the appropriate directorate for resolution, resulting in ongoing community improvements, while other issues are directed to higher command level. AFAP issues alert commanders and Army leaders to areas of concern needing their attention and gives them the opportunity to quickly put plans into place to work toward resolving the issues.
Because of your voice, AFAP has contributed to significant accomplishments and changes in regulations and laws:
- Audio/Visual Surveillance in Childcare Centers
- Creation of the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) Program.
- Established Military Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)
- Federal Employment Military Spouse Preference of PCSing Spouses, Spouse of 100% disabled Service members, or Surviving Spouses
- In-State College Tuition
- Paternity Leave for Soldiers
- Service member’s Group Life Insurance increased from $50,000 to $400,000.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Rehabilitation Program
- Transferability of Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) Benefits to Dependents
Have your voice heard! Anyone may submit an AFAP issue at anytime. Look for issue boxes at Army Community Service or log on to the AFAP Issue Management System (IMS) and submit a New Issue. This process will allow for review, submission, escalation and tracking of issues.
Contact your local AFAP Program Manager if you have questions or interested in unit training at +1(301)677-5590 or stop by the local AFAP Office at 830 Chisholm Ave, Fort Meade MD 20755.
- Learn About Army Life
Army Family Team Building (AFTB) includes classes that cover topics such Army life, self-development, and leadership skills. AFTB Level Modules feature:
- Level K: Learn about Army life and how to maneuver through daily challenges by discovering how to decipher Army acronyms, utilize Community Resources, attain better financial readiness and understand the goal and impact of the Army mission on daily life.
- Level G: Grow personally through self-development modules. The modules teach participants how to improve their communication skills, personal relationships, and stress management. Participants discover team dynamics, how to solve problems and how to resolve personal conflict.
- Level L: Expand leadership skills, effective communication techniques and mentorship skills by taking the training modules. Learn about different leadership styles, how to run an effective meeting, how to manage group conflict and how to coach and mentor others. The Enlisted Spouses Course Series prepares enlisted spouses to assume additional responsibilities as their Soldiers progress through their positions as Drill Sergeants, Recruiters, and First Sergeants.
AFTB classes are offered online (in English and Spanish) at www.myarmyonesource.com
- Army Volunteer Corps Coordinator (AVCC)
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 will:
- Gain a sense of satisfaction and 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
Contact your local Army Volunteer Coordinator within your Army Community Service Center to register and learn about volunteer opportunities across the Army.
More information is also available from Army OneSource.
To schedule an appointment or to sign up for a class, please visit, www.fortmeadeacs.checkappointments.com
- Employment Readiness Program (ERP)
To schedule an Employment Readiness appointment or to sign up for a class, please visit, www.fortmeadeacs.checkappointments.com
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
- Education, scholarship and volunteer referral information
- Unemployment and licensure transfer information
ACS Discovery Center/Computer Lab
- Use of computer (CAC accessible), Wi-fi and printers
- Use of scanner and fax for job related activities
- Job board with a variety of job announcements
Contact your Employment Readiness Program manager (ERPM) for more information. Contact information for installation ERPMs can be found at Army OneSource.
- Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)
The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is a mandatory enrollment program that works with other military and civilian agencies to provide comprehensive and coordinated community support, housing, educational, medical, and personnel services to Families with special needs. Soldiers on active duty enroll in the program when they have a Family member with a physical, emotional, developmental, or intellectual disorder requiring specialized services so their needs can be considered in the military personnel assignment process.
Family members must be screened and enrolled, if eligible, when the Soldier is on assignment instructions to an OCONUS area for which command sponsorship/Family member travel is authorized, and the Soldier elects to serve the accompanied tour. This screening consists of medical records review for all Family members, and developmental screening for all children 72 months of age and younger.
Soldiers are responsible for keeping their EFMP enrollment current as exceptional Family member (EFM) conditions change or at least every three years, whichever comes first.
The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) provides an all-inclusive approach for community, educational, medical, housing and personnel services for Families with special needs. An exceptional Family member may be a child or an adult with any physical, emotional, developmental or intellectual disorder that limits the individual's capacity to engage in pursuits with peers or that requires:
- Special treatment
Respite Care Information Army One Source: Exceptional Family Member Respite Care Program
Enrollment and Screening Information US Army Medical Department: Exceptional Family Member Program
- Financial Readiness Program (FRP)
Financial Readiness Program (FRP)
- Providing education, client advocacy and advice on consumer and financial matters
- Promoting financial self-sufficiency to prevent financial issues before they arise
- Providing pre-screening for applications for the Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance (FSSA)
- Advocating to resolve consumer complaints, fraud and scams
To schedule a Financial Readiness Appointment or sign up for the Credit Score Clinic, visit: www.fortmeadeacs.checkappointments.com
- Budget Development
- Financial Planning
- Personal Financial Management
- Debt Management Assistance
- Consumer Advocacy
- Credit Report Review
- Annual Military Saves Campaign
- Saving and Investing Education
- Family Subsistence Allowance (FSSA) - Pre-screening for eligibility
- Emergency Food Assistance Program - Short-term food assistance
Counseling services are available for service members, DoD civilians, retirees and their Family members in areas such as budget development and financial planning, developing a spending plan, managing personal finances, evaluating assets and liabilities, and debt management.
Debt Management Programs
Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Maryland and Delaware, Inc. (CCCS)
(Doing Business as Guidewell Financial Solutions)
InCharge Debt Solutions
Family Supplemental Substance Allowance (FSSA)
The FSSA is designed to offer an additional cash subsistence allowance of up to $1100 for military families or households. It is an initiative to increase Basic Allowance for Subsistence and remove military families from the food stamp program.
The FSSA application is integrated in milConnect: https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/milconnect
Active, Active Reserve and Guard Component members who want to receive the Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance (FSSA) now find out whether they qualify and how to apply using milConnect's new FSSA feature, which includes all the functions previously provided by the stand-alone FSSA site. After you log in as an Active, Active Reserve, or Guard Component member, FSSA appears on the Benefits menu.
- Information, Referral, and Follow-Up
Information, Referral, and Follow-Up
This program assists Commanders, Soldiers and Family members by providing information counseling to determine customer needs and refers them to the appropriate ACS service or other resource. It provides assistance with individual, Family and community concerns, resources available at the lowest cost and follow-up to ensure that ACS customers receive quality services.
Contact us if you are faced with issues such as:
- Transitional Adjustments
We can provide you with the resources and referrals you need! For more information, please call +1(301)677-5590
- Mobilization, Deployment, and Support Stability Operations
The Mobilization, Deployment, and Support Stability Operations (MD&SSO) 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 Combatant Evacuation Operations (EO) 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
Help 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 you need and develop a military support group while your 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 you 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.
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.
Other Helpful Links:
- Army OneSource
This resourceful website provides information about deployment, reunion, finances, family, children's workbooks and FRG. The download center allows you to research and download information that is important for you.
Family Readiness Groups (FRGs)
A Family Readiness Group is a command sponsored organization of Family members, Volunteers, Soldiers, and Civilian employees belonging to a unit, that together provide an avenue of mutual support and assistance and a network of communications among the family members, the chain of command, chain of concern, and community resources.
FRG Regulations and Training Resources
Appendix J of AR 608-1 outlines FRG Roles and functions, resources available to FRGs, fundraising guidelines, donations, and the budget process. Anyone looking for guidance or answers to FRG-related matters should refer to Appendix J or the Commander or Ethics Counselor.
Readiness Essentials for Army Leaders (R.E.A.L) is designed for targeted positions within the Family and Readiness Group (FRG) with six different modules:
- R.E.A.L Foundations
Designed to be a foundational course on Family Readiness and Family Readiness Groups. The 1.5 hour course covers the Department of Defense definition of Family Readiness and how the Army FRG can assist commanders in meeting their mission of executing a unit Family Readiness program. The training provides basic information on the different roles within the FRG from the command team to the different volunteer positions. Foundations is a required module for all other FRG training, but it can act as a standalone module for troop training and desk side briefings for commanders needing an overview on Family Readiness and FRGs.
- Command Team FRG Training
Targeted towards Commanders and First Sergeants outlines the roles and responsibilities of the command team regarding how to leverage the FRG to execute the Family Readiness mission. Topics include: Family Readiness; Mission Essential Tasks for FRGs; FRG elements and Operations; Communications: Volunteer Management; FRG Funding; and Resources.
- FRG Informal Fund Custodian Training
Dedicated to specific volunteer giving tips and techniques for executing the role of Informal Funds Custodian as well as practical exercises and role playing scenarios in order to help volunteers better understand their role in the FRG.
- FRG Key Contact Training
Dedicated to specific volunteer giving tips and techniques for executing the role of Key Contact as well as practical exercises and role playing scenarios in order to help volunteers better understand their role in the FRG.
- FRG Leader Training
Provides the volunteer FRG Leader with an understanding of their roles and responsibilities within the FRG and how they can execute the Commander's vision. Provide knowledge needed to begin implementing the mission essential tasks associated with the FRG.
- Family Readiness Liaison (FRL) Training
Provides the assigned unit FRL with an understanding of their roles and responsibilities within the FRG and how they can execute the Commander's vision. Provide knowledge needed to begin implementing the mission essential tasks associated with the FRG.
- Pre- and Post-Deployment Support
- Relocation Assistance
Relocation Readiness Program (RRP)
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.
To schedule a Relocation Readiness Appointment visit: www.fortmeadeacs.checkappointments.com
- Relocation Counseling
- Sponsorship Training
- Citizenship & Immigration Services Liaison
- Services to Multicultural Families
- Lending Closet
- Newcomers Orientation
- LEVY Briefing
- Provide Welcome Packets
Online Tools and Resources to Plan Your Move
Military Installations provide addresses, telephone numbers, directions, installation overviews, local weather for programs, services and facilities on more the 250 military installations worldwide.
Take control of your move with Plan My Move. Use our customizable calendar tool to create a unique personal moving plan. The calendar contains to do lists, checklists, phone lists, and links to critical moving information from budget planners to choosing a school.
- Survivor Outreach Services (SOS)
Our Fallen Soldiers have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Their Families deserve our respect, gratitude, and the very best we can provide. If you’re a surviving Family member, Survivor Outreach Services (SOS) offers you access to support, information, and services, closest to where you live, when you need it and for as long as you need it.
Survivor Outreach Services is part of the Army Casualty Continuum of Care. It’s designed to provide long-term support to surviving Families of Fallen Soldiers. Our goal is to reassure Survivors that they remain valued members of the Army Family.
Survivor Outreach Services helps in many ways:
- Support Coordinators. The loss of a loved one often results in tremendous grief, which can be overwhelming. When faced with a tragedy, you may be wondering what direction to take. Your SOS Coordinator is your link to finding the resources and answers that will work best for you. Your local Support Coordinator is available to meet with you as you journey through this difficult transition by providing direct services as well as information, referrals, and recommendations. He or she can also connect you with support groups, spiritual resources, and bereavement and financial counselors. Your SOS Coordinator can also help you request and obtain copies of documents, navigate local, state, and federal agencies, and direct you to additional Survivor resources.
- Financial Counselors. In times of emotional distress, figuring out what to do about finances can create a heavy burden. Survivor Outreach Services Financial Counselors provide professional financial information and services in areas such as investing, estate planning, tax issues, and basic budgeting. Our Financial Counselors are committed to helping you create financial security. They also help ensure you get the information you need to make sound financial decisions.
- Gold Star Advocates provide support and address complaints about casualty assistance or receipt of benefits.
To learn about the symbols of honor surviving military families wear, visit www.GoldStarPins.org.
- Family Advocacy Program (FAP)
2462 85th Medical Battalion Ave., Bldg. 2462
Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
DSN: (312)622-4118 Commercial +1(301)677-4118
The U.S. Army Family Advocacy Program (FAP) helps Soldiers and Families recognize and meet the unique challenges of military lifestyles. Our services include seminars, workshops, counseling, and intervention to help strengthen Army Families, enhance resiliency and relationship skills, and improve quality of life.
We are also dedicated to helping Soldiers and Families with the complex challenges related to domestic abuse, child abuse, and neglect. We focus on prevention, 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.
There are 3 additional programs within the Family Advocacy Program that help with specific needs.
Victim Advocacy Program (VAP): Provides comprehensive support to victims of domestic abuse, including crisis intervention, safety planning, and help to secure medical treatment for injuries, information on legal rights and proceedings, referral to military and civilian shelters, and other resources. Victim Advocacy services are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
New Parent Support Program (NPSP): Helps to build strong, healthy military Families for Soldiers and Family members who are expecting a child, or have children up to 3 years of age. Through various supportive services, classes, and home visits, we help new parents learn to cope with the everyday demands of parenthood, as well as stress, isolation, and post-deployment reunions.
Contact your installation’s Army Community Service (ACS) Family Advocacy Program for more information. You can also call Military OneSource for more information and referrals CONUS: +1(800)342-9647; OCONUS: 00-800-3429-6477; To call collect with operator assistance OCONUS: +1(484)530-5908
Parent Support and Marriage Enrichment Program
The Parent Support Program offers supportive and educational programs to parents who have children of all ages. Support groups and parenting classes are available to meet a variety of parenting needs. Individual parenting instruction is also provided.
Every volunteer (to include youth) on Fort Meade is required to be registered on www.myarmyonesource.com as a volunteer.
Community Readiness Center
830 Chisholm Ave., Bldg. 830
Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
DSN: (312)622-5590 Commercial +1(301)677-5590