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Mission & History

Our Mission

 

To ensure the financial security and independence of the members of the American Armed Forces Community.

 

Our History

 

Originally established as the Army Mutual Aid Association, AAFMAA (known today as the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association) was established on January 13, 1879, when officials in the U.S. War Department saw the need for an Association to take care of fellow Soldiers in the aftermath of the Battle of the Little Bighorn — "Custer's Last Stand."

 

The story began three years earlier, in 1876, when Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer (former brevet Major General) led his ill-fated expedition against the Cheyenne and Sioux in the Dakota Territory, culminating in the Battle of the Little Bighorn. The result of this battle starkly emphasized the desperate circumstances of bereaved Army families of that era. At that time, when a death occurred on the frontier, surviving servicemembers would commence a “passing of the hat” to raise money that would be used to transport the Soldiers’ dependents “back East” to the care of relatives and friends. In the case of the 7th Cavalry, that tradition collapsed. There were no survivors. There was no hat to pass — and there was no one to pass it to!

 

The founding documents for the Association were prepared by a Committee of Army Officers chaired by Lieutenant Colonel (later Brigadier General) Roger Jones, Assistant Inspector General of the Army. The expressed purpose was to “to aid the families of the deceased members in a prompt, simple and substantial manner.”

 

Since then, active supporters and officers of AAFMAA have included Generals John J. Pershing, George C. Marshall, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Carl A. (Tooey) Spaatz, Omar N. Bradley, William C. Westmoreland, Creighton W. Abrams, Walter T. “Dutch” Kerwin, Michael S. Davison, H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Ronald R. Fogleman, Michael E. Ryan, and Eric K. Shinseki, just to name a few.

 

Throughout our rich, generations-long history, there have been many Association changes that have refined and reshaped our ability to serve an ever-expanding military community — enhancing our mission to ensure our Members are financially secure for a lifetime:

 

Timeline

  • January 13, 1879
    The Army Mutual Aid Association is founded.
  • 1954
    Membership eligibility extended to National Guard/Reserve.
  • 1984
    Membership eligibility extended to Air Force officers.
  • 1987
    The Association's name is changed to the Army and Air Force Mutual Aid Association (AAFMAA).
  • 1995
    Membership eligibility extended to noncommissioned officers; Entry-level Membership age limit increased to 66.
  • 2000
    Membership eligibility extended to all Army and Air Force personnel.
  • 2009
    AAFMAA Financial Advisors LLC is established as a wholly-owned subsidiary to perform Member Benefits and Survivor Assistance Services for AAFMAA Members and families; Insurance coverage extended to include Member's spouses and dependents. 
  • 2011
    Membership eligibility extended to the Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard.
  • 2012
    AAFMAA launches SpouseLink.org as an online resource for military spouses; AAFMAA Wealth Management & Trust LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AAFMAA, is established to provide investment management, financial planning, and trust services to the military.
  • 2013
    The Association's name is changed to American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association.
  • 2016
    AAFMAA Mortgage Services LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AAFMAA, is established in North Carolina to provide mortgage products to the military; AAFMAA launches the Spouse Purchase Initiative to enable military spouses to purchase their own AAFMAA policies.
  • 2021
    Membership eligibility extended to current and retired employees of USPHS, NOAA, and USSF and adult children of eligible Members.

Since 1879, AAFMAA has continuously provided our Members always-affordable life insurance and exclusive survivor assistance services, including expedited death benefit payments, securing all government benefits available, preparing government and insurance claims for the bereaved families of our Members, and providing physical and digital vault document storage.

Supporting the military family doesn’t end at the death of the military member, AAFMAA continues to support the deceased Member’s survivors by informing them of all new or available Government benefits that may be of benefit to them.

In addition to offering outstanding life insurance products and unmatched Member benefits, AAFMAA launched its two wholly-owned subsidiaries to increase the value of Membership and to more fully deliver on its mission. Since 2012, AAFMAA Wealth Management & Trust LLC has provided expert financial planning, investment management and trust administration services to military families. In 2016, AAFMAA Mortgage Services LLC began providing customized mortgage services to the military community.

For the generations to come, AAFMAA will still be here to provide financial services that “aid the families of the deceased members in a prompt, simple and substantial manner.”

AAFMAA Seal

A Strong Foundation

Our pride and strength rest in our status as a Member-owned, mutual aid association made up of over 86,000 current servicemembers, retirees, Veterans and their families. With AAFMAA, you can rest assured that our focus will always be on doing what is right and best for you — our Members.

 

Military life is made up of many stages and our expert professionals are here to help guide you through every one. Call us toll-free at 1-800-522-5221 today and let us join you on your journey.

AAFMAA Crests Used Throughout the Years

Army Mutual Aid Association Seal

1879 - 1986

The Army Mutual Aid Association

Arm and Air Force Mutual Aid Association Seal

1987 - 2012

The Army and Air Force Mutual Aid Association

AAFMAA Seal

2013 - 2019

American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association

2019 - Present

American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association

* In the following states/territories, AAFMAA is only able to issue policies to current servicemembers, military retirees, and their spouses: DC, MS, NJ, NY, UT, WA, and WI.

Gavel and book

AAFMAA Constitution

Our Constitution provides information regarding how our Association operates, its governance structure, eligibility for Membership, and more.

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