Army drops signature requirement for financial

U.S. Army
U.S. Army

Army drops signature requirement for financial

by: Drew Brooks | .
The Fayetteville Observer, N.C | .
published: September 28, 2015

The Army has dropped a requirement that forced soldiers to inform their command of financial hardships.

In the past, command signatures were required for soldiers and their families to receive Army Emergency Relief loans and grants, according to Fort Bragg officials.

But a recent change has dropped that requirement for nearly all soldiers, regardless of rank.

The change comes in response to reluctance among soldiers to request financial assistance caused by "the perception of a time consuming and intimidating review process involving the company/battery level chain of command," officials said.

In announcing the change, officials urged soldiers to seek help through Army Emergency Relief, rather than "a pay day lender or any financial institution that will charge you high interest rates."

The private nonprofit organization has provided financial assistance to soldiers, retirees and their families since 1942, awarding more than $1.7 billion in loans and grants to more than 3.7 million people.

"The Army realizes it needs to eliminate the undue negative stigma associated with seeking assistance through (Army Emergency Relief)," officials said. "This stigma has contributed to soldiers going to lenders charging high interest rates. Army Emergency Relief should be soldiers' first choice when they are in financial difficulty."

Exceptions to the new policy are in place for soldiers in basic training, Advanced Individual Training and those with less than one year in service. Stipulations also apply to soldiers who have been assisted twice in one year, or those with a history of "high risk" financial readiness.

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