When I was at the USAA Blogger Event a few weeks ago (after action coming, I promise), the discussion turned to the military relief societies. Several people commented that service members don't like to use the relief societies because it means that their command is notified or becomes involved in the situation. I was a little confused, for I knew that was absolutely untrue for the NMCRS. In fact, confidentiality is one of the core principles of the NMCRS. I started thinking about how the other relief societies operate, and realized that some people may not understand how important confidentiality is to the NMCRS, and that they might not seek our assistance for this reason.
The NMCRS offers assistance to active duty and retired sailors and Marines, their spouses (with pre-authorization or power of attorney), widows and surviving children of fallen warriors. Services include financial counseling, grants and loans, scholarships, new baby budgeting and care classes, nursing assistance through the Visiting Nurse program. All of these programs are conducted completely free of any command involvement, except for a very limited number of situations where there is evidence of criminal activity, misconduct, or a threat to the security of the command. Servicemembers may request that their command be notified or invited to join the conversation, but that is never a requirement of the NMCRS.
I hope that reading this will encourage eligible sailors, Marines, and their families to utilize the amazing resources of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. Whether attending a Budget for Baby class, doing a spending plan review with a trained financial counselor, or applying for a scholarship, your interactions with the NMCRS are sure to enrich your life.