The four military relief societies are engaged in a battle to see who can get the most donations on a single day, Giving Tuesday.
The chief executive officers have decided they will each wear gear from the winning military aid society and post a message on social media thanking donors.
The winner will be crowned at the end.
“Let’s face it, the real winners will be the service members, retirees and families that we all serve,” said retired Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright, chief executive officer for Air Force Aid Society, in an announcement of the first-ever competition. To donate to one of the military relief societies in this competition, visit Battle4BraggingRights.com
All four military relief societies — Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Air Force Aid Society, Army Emergency Relief and Coast Guard Mutual Assistance — are four-star Charity Navigator-rated nonprofit organizations. The four are congressionally sanctioned, and their offices are usually located on military installations. They provide grants and interest-free loans, to help service members and their families in need. They provide a variety of programs and services, such as emergency relief, disaster assistance, financial assistance, scholarships and other support.
Giving Tuesday started in 2012 as a global day of giving, with a mission of inspiring people to support causes most important to them.
Lockheed Martin has offered to match every #Battle4BraggingRights gift made on #Giving Tuesday, up to the first $1 million.
Sailors and Marines love a good fight, said retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Robert R. Ruark, president and chief executive officer of Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, in a Facebook video about the challenge. “This is a good fight because everybody wins.”
Retired Army Lt. Gen. Raymond Mason, director of Army Emergency Relief, said all the relief societies “share a deep need to help those who serve and their families.” And although this is a competition, “we’re all on the same team,” Wright said.
And while the Coast Guard is the smallest service aside from Space Force, the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance “is going to win this,” said retired Rear Adm. Cari Thomas, CEO of CGMA, in her challenge.
“We are the hard nucleus about which the Navy forms in times of war.”
Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for more than 30 years, and is co-author of a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book "A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families." She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Fla., and Athens, Ga.