Service to the Armed Forces

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When a military family experiences a crisis, the American Red Cross is there to help. Wherever their military service takes them, service members can rest assured that the Red Cross will deliver notification of an emergency such as the death or serious illness of an immediate family member, as well as the good news of the birth of a service member's child or grandchild.

Twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, the Red Cross relays urgent messages containing accurate, factual, complete and verified descriptions of the emergency to service members stationed anywhere in the world, including on ships at sea and at embassies and remote locations.

Even if the service member receives an email or phone call from home, Red Cross-verified information assists the member and his/her commanding officers with making a decision regarding emergency leave.

Knowing in advance that communication links, access to financial assistance and information and referral will be available in an emergency brings peace of mind to service members and to the families from whom they are separated.

How to Contact the Red Cross for Assistance

The American Red Cross Emergency Communications Center is available to help 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Call (877) 272-7337 (toll-free) if you are currently, or if you are calling about:

  • Anyone on active duty in the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard
  • An activated member of the Guard and Reserve of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • An immediate family member or dependent of anyone in the above categories
  • A civilian employed by or under contract to the Department of Defense and stationed outside the Continental United States and any family residing with them at that location
  • A military retiree or the retiree’s spouse or widow(er)
  • A Cadet or midshipman at a service academy; ROTC cadet on orders for training
  • A Merchant Marine aboard a U.S. Naval Ship
When calling the Red Cross, be prepared to provide as much of the following information about the service member as is known:
  • Full legal name
  • Rank/rating
  • Branch of service (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard)
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Military unit address
  • Information about the deployed unit and home base unit (for deployed service members only)