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MILITARY SAVES WEEK 2015 REPORT
Military Saves has evolved into one of the cornerstones of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Financial Readiness Campaign and continues to grow each year. Military Saves Week is a dedicated worldwide opportunity for military installations, financial institutions, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies to motivate servicemembers and their families to save money, reduce debt and build wealth. Over 600 organizations signed up to participate in Military Saves Week 2015, more than in any other year. Those organizations included installations, commands, detachments, financial institutions, and nonprofit organizations. Financial readiness is a critical component of personal and family readiness for servicemembers. The DoD Financial Readiness Campaign’s Eight Pillars of Financial Readiness provide the guidelines to support servicemembers to maintain the security clearances they need to perform their assigned duties, ensure basic financial skills, and access helpful financial tools. Military Saves launched a service specific outreach strategy to engage an increased number of servicemembers with resources, information, and tools online and in collaboration with 2
Personal Financial Managers at family centers on military installations or within the military community that reinforce the importance of the message of saving. Through our collective efforts, we have been increasingly successful in assisting the Department of Defense, and all the branches of service, in providing support and information to military families in order to increase their financial readiness. Junior military personnel (E1-E4 and O1-O2) and their family members, including children, remain the target audience for Military Saves. As the youngest and least economically powerful, they are most susceptible to making poor financial choices. Military Saves encourages these young members, as well as all servicemembers, their families, and DoD civilian employees, to take the Military Saves Pledge. Military Saves also encourages organizations to promote savings year round and during Military Saves Week. In the first quarter of 2015, more than 30,000 individuals took the Military Saves Pledge or re-pledged, increasing the number of people enrolled in Military Saves to over 200,000. In addition to reaching active duty service members on base, Military Saves reaches
thousands of individuals through its website, MilitarySaves.org, the online resource for all things Military Saves. Individuals access the website for savings information, financial tips, and guidance. Organizations use the website for gathering information to successfully plan and prepare for Military Saves Week and other savings-related initiatives throughout the year. Military Saves also posts blogs on various savings topics each week, which are easy to share with others on social media. Follow @MilitarySaves on Twitter and LIKE us on the Military Saves Facebook page. We look forward to working with you in the months ahead as we prepare for Military Saves Week 2016, February 22–27! Sincerely,
James Lander Director Military Saves
MILITARY SAVES PLEDGE: CALL TO ACTION A Record-Breaking Year In the first quarter of 2015 (January 1–March 31), 29,731 individuals took the Military Saves Pledge, and an additional 3,355 re-pledged. In total, a record-breaking 33,086 people pledged to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. The pledge is a call to action that encourages servicemembers and their families to change the way they think about and act towards money. Military families are urged to take the pledge to set a goal, make a plan and save automatically during Military Saves Week and to follow through on that promise all year!
Since 2007, more than 200,000 servicemembers and their families have taken the Military Saves Pledge.
THE MILITARY SAVES PLEDGE “I will help myself by saving money, reducing debt, and building wealth over time. I will help my family and my country by encouraging other Americans to Build Wealth, Not Debt.”
MILITARY SAVES CAMPAIGN: A DOD FINANCIAL READINESS PARTNER Military Saves is a partner in the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Financial Readiness Campaign. Since 2007, the DoD has designated the last week in February Military Saves Week. To formally kick off the campaign, the DoD issues an authorizing memo. For the third year in a row, both Chairman GEN Dempsey and Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman, Sgt. Maj. Battaglia, signed the Memo for Chief of Military Services.
Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman (SEAC) Video Encourages Financial Fitness For Military Saves Week 2015, SEAC Sgt. Maj. Battaglia and his wife, Mrs. Lisa Battaglia, issued a video endorsement encouraging servicemembers and their families to take the Military Saves pledge and to “set a goal, make a plan and save automatically.”
MILITARY SAVES WEEK 2015: UNPRECEDENTED PARTICIPATION 622 organizations signed up to participate in Military Saves Week 2015 across the country and on OCONUS installations around the world, including:
INSTALLATIONS, COMMANDS AND READINESS CENTERS
NON-PROFIT & OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
To kick off what is perhaps the military’s largest world-wide financial readiness celebration, organizations held commander’s proclamation signing events, financial workshops, pledge tables/drives, cake cutting ceremonies, contests and even financial fun runs.
For a complete list of #MSW2015 participating organizations, please visit: http://www.militarysaves.org/organizations/military-saves-week/ participating-organizations For a snapshot of just some of the #MSW2015 events and activities that took place, please visit: http://www.militarysaves.org/organizations/ military-saves-week/events-and-activities
HIGHLIGHTING OUTSTANDING INVOLVEMENT Installation Partners Collaborating with local financial institutions proved to be a successful strategy for the Fort Hood Financial Readiness Program.
soldiers had to pledge to release the Command Sergeant Major); financial classes and pushing the message out to individual units through the Command Financial Family Advocacy Specialists, the Program brought in more than 2,500 Military Saves Pledges!
Using Fort Hood National Bank’s and Pentagon Federal Credit Union’s social media reach, the Fort Hood Financial Readiness Program was able to build awareness of Military Saves Week (MSW) through Facebook and Twitter. The two financial institutions also bought prizes and materials for MSW events.
“Starting early really helped us, and we are always speaking about Military Saves to our clients,” said Sylvia Gavin, Fort Hood Financial Readiness Program. “Each staff member in the financial readiness branch had a sign on his or her desk asking [servicemembers], “Did you pledge today?”
Through exhibit tables at the Food Court and around post; creative contests with great prizes (including a Google tablet); special events (such as Jail A Member of the Command where
If you need ideas on how to make your next Military Saves Week successful, look no further than the Fort Hood Financial Readiness Program!
FORT HOOD, TX
FORT LEONARD WOOD, MO How did Ft. Leonard Wood’s Financial Readiness Program (FRP) succeed in having more than 1,100 servicemembers and their families take the Military Saves Pledge? They didn’t wait for servicemembers to come to them. Rather, they brought the message of reducing debt and saving money out to the troops during Advanced Individual Training (AIT) and to individual units.
LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, AZ Early planning by staff, involvement from leadership and support from Fighter Country Foundation (FCF), www.FighterCountry.org, helped Luke Air Force Base and the Airman & Financial Readiness Center (A&FRC) coordinate a fantastic Military Saves Week 2015. By executing weekly planning meetings, engaging unit representatives and hosting tables at the Base Exchange, A&FRC was able to boost Military Saves Week awareness, which increased pledge numbers to more than 1,500. In partnership with FCF, Luke A&FRC hosted its 2nd annual Financial Expo at a local resort. More than 180 Airmen and their families attended the event for food, expert financial information and $7,000 in prizes! The expo also included breakout sessions on budgeting, savings, understanding a credit score and paying for college.
The FRP also captured the attention of many at events held at the commissary, shoppette and USO. It didn’t matter if the troops were only available on Saturdays; Fort Leonard Wood’s FRP was there. FRP specialists also incorporated the Military Saves message into regularly scheduled workshops, including the First Termers Class, which offers eight hours of mandatory financial training for servicemembers E-4 and below for whom Fort Leonard Wood is their first permanent party duty station.
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION, MIRAMAR, SAN DIEGO, CA Marine Corps Air Station Miramar celebrated Military Saves Week 2015 with a four-hour Home Buying Seminar, which provided attendees with everything they needed to know before beginning the home buying process.
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, GUAM/JOINT REGION MARIANAS Despite intense joint training that kept most servicemembers at the installation extremely busy through February, financial readiness representatives at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, still found a way to get the savings message out during Military Saves Week 2015. The team reached Airmen and other servicemembers by attending commander calls, staff meetings, ceremonies, classes and briefings at all times of day to reach different shifts, including before physical training!
Fifty-five attendees filled the classroom and learned from community partners about setting a budget, building credit and preparing to buy a home. Navy Federal Credit Union sponsored the event, providing lunch and travel mugs for attendees. Community partners also reviewed the credit reports of those who had taken the pledge. Some attendees discovered they were not ready to make the purchase and adjusted their goals accordingly, while others realized they were ready to buy a home.
Representatives also hosted a series of financial workshops on a range of topics throughout the month and provided regular “Team Andersen” pledge total updates to keep the momentum going. Thanks, Andersen AFB (Joint Region Marianas) for encouraging more than 900 Airmen and servicemembers to take the Military Saves pledge.
Government Agency Partners PENTAGON FINANCIAL READINESS FAIR Each year, the Department of Defense (DoD) organizes a Financial Readiness Fair to encourage servicemembers and DoD employees to take the Military Saves Pledge and set up automatic ways to save. Participating organizations were able to reach more than 3,200 servicemembers and DoD civilian employees.
• Department of Housing and Urban Development • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation • Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board • Federal Trade Commission • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority • Military One Source • National Association of Federal Credit Unions • National Credit Union Administration
• National Guard Bureau
• Association of Military Banks of America
• National Military Family Association
• Navy Installations Command, Washington, DC
• National Foundation for Credit Counseling
• Consumer Federation of America
• Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
• Defense Civilian Personnel Advisory Service
• Social Security Administration
• Defense Credit Union Council
• Securities and Exchange Commission
• Department of Veterans Affairs Insurance Center
• Personal Financial Counselors
COMMUNITY BANK The DoD Community Bank associates in all 67 banking centers reached almost 25,000 military, DoD civilians and their family members during Military Saves Week, encouraging members to take the pledge by delivering the global Military Saves message to local communities via banking centers and associate engagements. Community Bank associates participated in a total of 400 community activities that included conducting savings workshops for military units, elementary, middle and high school students and at youth centers. Community Bank also hosted school field trips and bank tours, as well as provided information/pledge tables at banking centers and the BX, PX, commissary, shoppette, dining facility and many other on-installation locations.
Non-Profit Partners FINRA INVESTOR EDUCATION FOUNDATION
THE USAA EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION
To celebrate Military Saves Week 2015, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation:
During Military Saves Week, The USAA Educational Foundation:
• Attended two speaking events at locations in Texas and New Mexico
• Created internal communications announcing the alliance with Military Saves
• Connected with 28 servicemen and women
• Created a featured article on usaaef.org announcing the alliance
• Exhibited at the Pentagon Financial Readiness Fair and at SOUTHCOM event • Processed 4,933 myFICO® registrations on www.saveandinvest.org • Completed 3,166 myFICO® report deliveries (through April 15)
• Leveraged social media to help facilitate awareness • Provided access to all of the free resources available at usaaef.org
FINANCIAL INSTITUTION INVOLVEMENT & AWARDS Supported by the Association of Military Banks of America, the Defense Credit Union Council, the National Association of Federal Credit Unions and service-level Banking and Credit Union Liaison Officers, Military Saves is able to partner with on-base banks and credit unions across the globe during Military Saves Week. Military Saves is awarding two on-base credit unions and two on-base banks, at their respective annual conferences, for exceptional participation in Military Saves Week 2015. Below are the winners and highlights of their contributions to the campaign.
BANK AWARD— OVER $1 BILLION IN ASSETS Armed Forces Bank – Fort Leavenworth, KS collaborated with on-base partner Army and Air Force Exchange Services (AAFES) to promote saving among servicemembers in a unified, cohesive effort. AAFES management conducted Military Saves promotional announcements via the AAFES announcement system 10 times per day during Military Saves Week. Store employees received emails encouraging them to start saving in small ways every day. They also distributed fliers about Military Saves Week to six local elementary schools and were invited to conduct a financial education presentation, with emphasis
on the importance of saving, to approximately 81 fourth graders, all who signed certificates bearing the Military Saves Youth Pledge. Armed Forces Bank’s team held community events where they shared literature and talked with attendees about saving, Military Saves and the Military Saves pledge, identity protection, credit and the various incentives offered by Armed Forces Bank during Military Saves Week 2015. Over 950 promotional flyers and materials were distributed at these events in addition to distribution at 10 installation units, Morale Welfare and Recreation programs and all ATM locations. The outreach of bank branch personnel resulted in 1,478 savers adding to existing accounts, 22 savers opening new accounts and 422 savers establishing automatic deposits into their savings accounts.
BANK AWARD— UNDER $1 BILLION IN ASSETS Activities conducted by branch personnel at
Fort Hood National Bank, Fort Hood, TX included community events, promotional
The Association of Military Banks of America (AMBA) hosted its Annual Workshop August 29-September 2, 2015 at the Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, VA. For more information, please visit: http://www.ambahq.org/ index.php/item/203-2015-workshop
emails, distribution of flyers and posters and financial education workshops. More than 2,500 Military Savers took the Military Saves pledge, an increase of 400 percent compared to the 2014 campaign. Exactly 3,406 savers added to existing accounts, 64 savers initiated automatic saving deposits and 131 savers opened new accounts. With tremendous support from on-base personnel, Fort Hood National Bank held financial workshops each week of February to reinforce the Military Saves message of building wealth and reducing debt, particularly through good saving habits and reached over 1,200 soldiers.
CREDIT UNION AWARD— OVER $1 BILLION IN ASSETS Navy Federal Credit Union, Naval Submarine Base New London, CT
The Defense Credit Union Council (DCUC) hosted its Annual Conference August 16- August 19, 2015 at the Bellagio, Las Vegas, NV. For more information, please visit: http://www.dcuc.org/?page=2015AnnualConference
worked collaboratively with Fleet and Family Service Center staff to obtain a signed commander’s proclamation from installation commanding and executive officers that was displayed within the branch throughout February. Branch personnel provided electronic tablets to encourage people to take the Military Saves pledge at various locations across the installation. The branch team held financial workshops and highlighted the benefits of taking the Military Saves pledge, including obtaining access to free credit score, information about establishing a budget and the importance of saving automatically. The Navy Federal Credit Union team successfully encouraged 204 savers to open new accounts, 3,675 savers to add to existing accounts and 68 savers to establish automatic savings deposits.
CREDIT UNION AWARD— UNDER $1 BILLION IN ASSETS Pacific Marine Credit Union, Twenty Nine Palms, CA personnel participated in numerous collaborative events with installation uniformed enlisted leadership during the month of February to promote Military Saves. The Pacific Marine Credit Union team successfully encouraged 48 savers to open new accounts, 98 savers to add to existing accounts, 146 savers to establish automatic savings deposits and increased the number of servicermembers who took the Military Saves pledge by 25 percent, compared to the 2014 campaign. Their branch management team reached out to deployed Marines via email to encourage them to start saving and take the Military Saves pledge. Financial workshops were conducted to educate Marines on the benefits of saving and presented a comparison chart of various interest rates and products, showing the projected savings over a period of time. Servicemembers were educated on the importance of saving money for today and, more importantly, for their future through one-on-one financial counseling and financial training classes during Military Saves Week. 15
WHAT’S NEW WITH MILITARY SAVES Military Saves Partners with The USAA Educational Foundation The USAA Educational Foundation and Military Saves (militarysaves.org) teamed together to help promote responsible money management practices and enhanced financial readiness. As part of its support of the military community, The USAA Educational Foundation contributed $50,000 toward Military Saves programming activities that will assist in promoting informed financial goal setting.
National Guard Outreach To celebrate Military Saves Week 2015, Military Saves collaborated with the National Guard Bureau to encourage the National Guard community to take the Military Saves pledge and set up automatic ways to save. The Military Saves Day Expo was held February 11, 2015 at Arlington Hall, VA and reached hundreds of servicemembers and DoD employees. For Military Saves Week 2015, 4th SEAC of the National Guard Bureau Chief Master Sgt. Mitchell Brush and his wife, Mrs. Blaire Martin, issued a video endorsement encouraging servicemembers and their families to take the Military Saves pledge.
Military Saves attended the 2015 National Guard Soldier, Airman and Family Programs Workshop in Norman, OK, April 21-23, 2015. This workshop provided training and opportunities to network and collaborate with National Guard family program staff of all U.S. states and territories that provide readiness and quality of life services to servicemembers and their families.
MILITARY SAVES: • Exhibited with a table and educational materials for two days during the workshop • Presented an overview of the Military Saves program to approximately 75 National Guard Family Programs staff during the “Round Robin” Training Day on April 22, 2015 • Is developing a strategy for further outreach to National Guard servicemembers and families
MILITARY SAVES WEEK: COVERAGE THAT CONNECTED Military Saves Week 2015 was featured through:
News articles covering Military Saves Week events on installations around the world, including those in Germany, Japan and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Web articles, including those by the Department of Defense; FINRA Investor Education Foundation, featured on Yahoo Finance; and Air Force Link. A Military Saves Week Town Hall meeting at Joint Base LewisMcChord featuring Holly Petraeus, Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, was also picked up by various news outlets around the country.
USAA’s Financial Advice Blog
Military Saves’ partners who covered the campaign kick off by linking to the Military Saves website and promoting the week through high-level coverage on their respective websites
Through its website and social media, Military Saves connected with servicemembers and their families:
UNIQUE VISITORS ON WWW.MILITARYSAVES.ORG January-March 2015: 40,930 January-March 2014: 34,078 FACEBOOK Military Saves reached 408,458 unique users on Facebook January-March 2015. That’s up significantly from 134,138 unique users in January-March 2014.
TWITTER #MSW2015: 1,800 tweets and 6 million impressions in February 2015. These numbers have jumped up from 719 tweets and 1.1 million impressions in February 2014.
MILITARY SAVES BLOG & PARTNER PACKET Stay connected with Military Saves all year through Military Saver-focused blog articles and partner resource packets.
A new savings theme is introduced every six weeks on www.MilitarySaves.org: March 16-April 26
April 27-June 7
PCS Moves & Home Ownership
June 8-July 19
July 20-Aug. 30
Aug. 31-Oct. 11
Managing Credit & Debt
Oct. 12-Nov. 22
Holiday Spending & Saving
Nov. 23-Jan. 3
Tax-Time & Year-End Saving
Jan. 4-Feb. 28
Military Saves Week/Emergency Savings
MILITARY SAVES ADVISORY COMMITTEE The Military Saves Advisory Committee is made up of many organizations that provide their expertise and guidance. Members of the Advisory Committee meet quarterly to collaborate on
Military Saves’ mission to help servicemembers and their families save money, reduce debt and build long-term wealth. Air Force Aid Society
Army Public Affairs Office
Financial Planning Association
Air Force Banking Office
Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education
FINRA Investor Education Foundation
Air Force Personal Financial Readiness Air Force Reserve Airman, Family & Community Operations Branch Directorate of Personnel Services
Association of Military Banks of America Blue Star Families
Holt Solutions HQ Air Force Reserve Command (Chief, Airman & Family Readiness)
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - Office of Servicemember Affairs
Marine Corps Banking Office
American Savings Education Council/ Employee Benefit Research Institute Armed Forces Bank Armed Forces Financial Network Armed Forces Tax Council Army Banking Office
Council of Better Business Bureaus Military Line Defense and Finance Accounting Service, DoD Banking and Credit Unions Defense Credit Union Council
Army Community Covenant
Department of Defense State Liaison Office
Army Department of Defense Education Activity
Department of the Treasury, Director, Office of Financial Education
Army Emergency Relief
Doorway to Dreams Fund
Army Installation Management Command
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Army Manpower and Reserve Affairs
Federal Retirement Investment Board, Thrift Savings Plan
Army Personal Financial Manager; Soldier and Family Readiness Division
Federal Trade Commission
Marne Corps Installations West Military Officers Association of America NASAA, Military Outreach Project Group National Association of Federal Credit Unions National Credit Union Administration National Foundation for Credit Counseling National Guard Bureau Office of the NGB Comptroller National Military Family Association Government Relations Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society Navy Banking Division
Navy Banking Office Navy Federal Credit Union Navy Manpower and Reserve Affairs Navy Personal Financial Manager Program
Office of the Secretary of Defense Office of Military Community and Family Policy Office of the Secretary of Defense/Personnel & Readiness
Office of Personnel Management
Office of the Secretary of Defense/ Personnel & Readiness- Youth
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense/Reserve Affairs
Office of the Secretary of Defense
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Securities and Exchange Commission US Bank US Coast Guard Mutual Assistance US Coast Guard Office of Work-Life The USAA Educational Foundation Wells Fargo Bank
MILITARY SAVES FUNDING Military Saves is made possible, in part, through the generous support of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, Wells Fargo Bank and The USAA Educational Foundation. Thanks to the continued commitment of our sponsors, the Military Saves campaign continues to grow each year. Military Saves, a component of America Saves and a partner in the Department of Defense’s Financial Readiness Campaign, is a researchbased campaign that uses the principles of social marketing and behavioral economics to motivate, support, and encourage military families to save money and build wealth. Military Saves encourages all servicemembers, their families, and civilian employees to take the Military Saves pledge and for organizations to promote savings year-round and during Military Saves Week. Learn more at militarysaves.org.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS & CONNECT! MILITARY SAVES WEEK 2016 will kick off the campaign year
MONDAY, FEB. 22—SATURDAY, FEB. 27, 2016
Learn More at: www.militarysaves.org
Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/MilitarySaves