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Emergency Communication Messages

Service to the Armed Forces Emergency Communications provides objective, timely, confidential, factual, complete and verified information about an emergency or potential emergency situations involving service members and their immediate family members in order to enable service members and military authorities to make informed decisions.​​​


The American Red Cross Hero Care Center is available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with different options for requesting assistance: online, by phone and the Hero Care App.​

To Initiate A Red Cross Message by phone: To speak to a Red Cross Emergency Communications Specialist call 1-877-272-7337.  If you are calling from a DSN line, dial 877-272-7337

To Initiate A Red Cross Message Online:

Visit to get started.

To Initiate a Red Cross via the Hero Care App:

Visit and download the app.

Please Have Your Information Ready

When contacting the Red Cross, be prepared to provide the following information.

If you do not have all of the information, please use the phone option.

Service Member Information:

  • Full legal name

  • Rank/rating

  • Branch of service (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard)

  • Social Security number or Date of Birth

  • Military unit address

  • Information about the deployed unit and home base unit (for deployed service members only)

Information About the Emergency:

  • Name and contact for the immediate family member experiencing the emergency (could be spouse, parent, child/grandchild, or grandparent), include Date of Birth and Date of Passing (if applicable)

  • Nature of the emergency

  • Where the emergency can be verified (hospital, doctors office, funeral home)

Who is eligible to receive Emergency Communication Messages?

  • On active duty in the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard and their spouses

  • An activated member of the Guard and Reserve of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces

  • A civilian employed by or under contract to the Department of Defense and stationed outside the Continental United States

  • A cadet or midshipman at a service academy; ROTC cadet on orders for training

  • A Merchant Marine aboard a U.S. Naval Ship

Things to Know:
The American Red Cross does not authorize emergency leave for members of the United States military. The Red Cross role is to independently verify the emergency, enabling the service member’s commander to make an educated decision regarding emergency leave and then to provide transportation assistance and/or financial assistance, if needed.

The American Red Cross facilitates emergency financial assistance on behalf of Military Aid Societies. These Aid Societies determine the financial assistance package that will be offered – a grant or a loan. The Red Cross is the mechanism to expedite access to these financial resources 24/7.

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