Army Community Service began from the roots of the Army Emergency Relief program in the 1940s. Funded by donations of the American public, AER offices were located at Army posts throughout the U.S. AER provided the framework for the development of ACS.
ACS was founded July 25, 1965, when Gen. Harold Johnson, Army chief of staff, dispatched a letter to all commanders announcing the approval and establishment of ACS.
“ACS is important because it provides a 360 social service delivery for Soldiers and Families,” said Paul Burk, director of FMWR. “The one-stop shop of support services minimizes the stress of the Soldier guessing where to seek assistance.”
“ACS contributes to the overall Army readiness by offering a full spectrum social service support system,” said Sharon Swisher, 55th birthday coordinator and Exceptional Family Member Program manager. “ACS has a great group of professionals who are equipped and prepared to work with military families.”
Today, ACS has many programs to help Soldiers and their Families, from financial and employment readiness to volunteer opportunities and Survivor Outreach Services.
“ACS is an organization that takes care of the total Family,” said Swisher. “A Solider or Family member could have their needs meet without going outside of the installation.”
The organization has continued to serve Soldiers and their Families during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing virtual support, educational sessions, online training and safe face-to-face interaction as needed.
“ACS will be there for commanders, the community and for our Army Families,” said Swisher. “We stand ready and equipped to meet the many demands during these ever changing times.”
“The future of ACS is solid,” added Burk. “It has withstood the test of time over the past 55 years and especially during the pandemic. The pandemic showed us what we were really about, active, committed and sustainable.”
ACS will continue to grow and evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of the global Army family.
Fort Belvoir ACS offers a wide range of resources to support our community, visit belvoir.armymwr.com/programs/acs to learn more.