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.