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Mission & History

Our Mission

 

To help ensure the financial security and independence of the members of the American Armed Forces Community by providing insurance and other benefits.

 

Our History

 

AAFMAA was established on January 13, 1879, after officials in the 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."

 

In 1876, Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer (former brevet Major General) led his ill-fated expedition against the Cheyenne and Sioux in the Dakota Territory which culminated in the Battle of the Little Bighorn. The result of this battle starkly emphasized the desperate circumstances of bereaved Army families of that era. When a death occurred on the frontier, surviving servicemembers literally conduced a “passing of the hat” to raise money to transport dependents “back East” to the care of relatives and friends. In the case of the 7th Cavalry, the old system collapsed. There were no survivors; there was no hat to pass – and no one to pass it to! As a result, on 13 January 1879, the Army Mutual Aid Association was created. 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 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 142 years of history, there have been many Association changes. In 1984, the Association’s Members voted to expand Membership to include Air Force officers. In 1987, the name was officially changed from Army Mutual Aid Association to the Army and Air Force Mutual Aid Association – AAFMAA. In 1995, AAFMAA’s Members voted to expand Membership to include Noncommissioned Officers and in 2000, Membership expanded again to include enlisted ranks. In September 2011, Membership was once again updated to include servicemembers of the Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard and in August 2021, Membership expanded to include servicemembers of the Space Force. Today, American Armed Forces servicemembers around the world, on active duty, Retired, Guard, Reserves, those currently attending one of the service academies, ROTC contract/scholarship cadets and honorably discharged Veterans (residing in AZ, CT, FL, HI, MD, NC, OK, RI, SC and VA) are eligible for Membership. On 12 June 2013, to honor the expansion of Membership to all American Armed Forces, AAFMAA officially changed its name to American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association — still maintaining the acronym AAFMAA.

 

Since 1879, AAFMAA has continuously provided Members low-cost life insurance and superlative survivor assistance, including expedited death benefit payments, securing all Government benefits available, preparing government and insurance claims for the bereaved families of our Members, and providing electronic and physical 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 spouse and minor children by informing them of all new or untapped Government benefits.

 

In 2014, AAFMAA is even more sound and secure. In addition to offering outstanding life insurance products and unmatched Member benefits, AAFMAA is now providing the Financial Planning, Investment Management and Trust Administration Services our Members have been requesting.

 

Over 142 years later, AAFMAA is still here providing the financial services needed today “to aid the families of the deceased Members in a prompt, simple and substantial manner” tomorrow.

AAFMAA Seal

A Strong Foundation

Our strength rests in our status as a Member-owned, mutual association proud to count over 90,000 current and former military as Members. With AAFMAA, you can breathe easy - our focus is always on doing what is right and best for Members.

 

We like to think we’re family. We’re here to help you through all of life’s ups and downs. Not sure where to start? Call us toll-free at 1-888-851-2493. Our staff is here to answer your questions, help you choose the right products, and guide you through the many stages of life in the military.

Timeline

  • 1879
    Army Mutual Aid Association established
  • 1954
    Eligibility extended to Guard/Reserve
  • 1984
    Eligibility extended to United States Air Force officers
  • 1987
    Name changed to The Army and Air Force Mutual Aid Association (AAFMAA)
  • 1995
    Eligibility extended to NCOs. Entry to Membership age limit raised to 66
  • 2000
    Eligibility extended to all Army and Air Force personnel
  • 2008
    Eligibility extended to Honorably Discharged Veterans residing in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina
  • 2009
    Eligibility extended to Honorably Discharged Veterans residing in Maryland

    Services eligibility extended to include Members' spouses and dependents
  • 2011
    Eligibility extended to include Honorably Discharged Veterans residing in Florida, Oklahoma, and Hawaii

    Eligibility extended to include Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard
  • 2012
    Eligibility extended to include Honorably Discharged Veterans residing in Arizona, Connecticut, and Rhode Island

    Launched SpouseLink.org as an online resource for military spouses

    AAFMAA Wealth Management & Trust LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AAFMAA, was established to provide financial planning, investment management, and trust administration services to the military community
  • 2013
    Name changed to American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association to honor the expansion of Membership to all branches
  • 2015
    Eligibility extended to include Honorably Discharged Veterans residing in Oregon

    The SpouseLink Ambassador program is created to enhance our connection to the military spouse community
  • 2016
    AAFMAA Mortgage Services LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AAFMAA, was established in Fayetteville, North Carolina to provide Members with mortgages to build, buy, or refinance a home
  • 2018
    Eligibility extended to include Honorably Discharged Veterans residing in California and Texas
  • 2019
    AAFMAA Mortgage Services LLC (AMS) opened retail branches in Virginia Beach, VA, and Wilmington, NC
  • 2021
    Eligibility extended to include all members of the Space Force and Uniformed Services

    Affiliate Membership status established for adult children of current Members and Legacy Members

    AAFMAA Mortgage Services LLC (AMS) moved its headquarters to Morrisville, NC in the Raleigh-Durham area and opened retail branches in Chandler, AZ, Denver, CO, and Addison, TX

    Acquired our first SpouseLink Ambassador devoted to the Veteran and transitioning military audience

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

 
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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