Benefits for Military Families

Army Fee Assistance (AFA)

Army Fee Assistance (AFA) Home Page

Army Fee Assistance (AFA) was created to assist qualifying Army Sponsors with the cost of off-post child care allowing Families to pay fees comparable to those charged at an installation. If you do not have access to an on-installation child care provider, you may be eligible to participate in AFA. The benefit is available to children from birth through 12 years of age.

Children must be enrolled in child care a minimum of 16 hours per week in order to qualify for AFA. The AFA will be paid directly to the Sponsor’s child care provider and their statement/bill should reflect the reduction in cost that will result from the AFA.

Who is Eligible to Apply:

Sponsor must be one of the following:

  • Army
    • Army Active Duty
    • Deployed Active Duty
    • Department of Army Civilians
  • Army National Guard
    • ARNG Activated
    • ARNG Deployed
  • Army Reserves
    • AR Activated
    • AR Deployed
  • Wounded Warriors
  • Survivors of Fallen Soldiers (SOS)

For Sponsors who are married, or single sponsors with a partner, the spouse/partner must be working, attending school or looking for work and/or enrolling in school and need child care a minimum of 16 hours per week. For those spouse/partners seeking employment or enrolling in school, special consideration may be granted which would allow the Family to receive AFA up to 90 days.

Operation Military Child Care (NACCRRA)

WHO is eligible to participate?

Families/Child Guardians of National Guard & Reserve Service Members who are activated/deployed Families/Child Guardians of deployed Active Duty Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines who are unable to access child care on military installations are eligible during the deployment period and for 60 days after the return of the Military Parent.

Note: The fee assistance program is intended to help support military spouses’ employment, education, or special medical circumstances. Fee assistance will only be provided to single military families, dual military families, and military families with a spouse who is working or enrolled in school. It will also be provided to military families where the spouse is looking for work for a period of up to 60 days.

Note: Operation: Military Child Care services are not an entitlement and are subject to geographic availability of child care and DOD/Military Service Funding.

Military Child Care in your Neighborhood:

Who’s eligible? Children of geographically dispersed Active Duty families with no access to on-base child care. Examples include children of Active Duty Recruiters, ROTC Instructors, MEPCOM personnel, Service Members on independent duty assignments and Service Members living in communities that are not within reasonable commuting distances to military installations. Children of Active Duty families who are wait-listed per Service policy and not currently enrolled in on-base child care.

Note: MCCYN programs may not be available in all locations.
Child Age Groups Served: 6 weeks - 12 years.
Child Care Options: Children may attend civilian child care centers, FCC homes and after-school programs. Children may use full-day, part-day and hourly child care. This program is subject to geographic location.

To apply for any of these great services, families and service members can call 1-800-424-2246 or visit

To find suitable Child Care please visit

Question? Email or contact a Child and Youth Program Coordinator:, (518) 786-4904.

ID Cards

Why get my family an ID card?

Spouses and eligible children should be enrolled in Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS) which:

  • Speeds up authorization of Tricare during mobilization or periods of active duty of more than 30 days.
  • Unlimited shopping at any U.S. Military PX/BX.
    No Taxes, Appliances, Liquor, Cigs
  • Commissary privileges extended to 24 visits per year for drilling Guards members and families.
    Savings up to 25-30%, Coupons accepted, No Taxes, willing to serve
  • Space Available travel- some restrictions Contact:
    105th AW, Stewart ANG Base,
    Newburgh, NY 12550
  • Use of military services such as guest housing and MWR discounts such as movie tickets, sporting events, outdoor rental equipment, etc. Armed Forces Recreations Centers worldwide (Shades of Green, Hale Koa, Dragon Hill Lodge, AFRC Europe - Garmisch & Chiemsee, Germany.
    Note: Use WWW to locate military installations when traveling.
  • Use of many services offered by the Fleet and Family Support Center, Saratoga Springs, NY
    Note: Transition Assistance, Family and Financial Counseling, etc.

Who's eligible?

  • Retirees, guardsmen, spouses (some former spouses)
  • Unremarried widow or widower
  • Children at age 10, under the age of 21(including adopted or stepchildren) (exceptions to 10 years)
  • Children 21 to 23 if full-time college students
  • Unmarried children incapable of self-support
  • Elderly Parents - if you contribute 50% in the support of an elderly parent (deduction stated on tax returns)

Unit Administrators should be able to issue a Commissary Card and an ID card or direct you to a RAPID site near your Home of Record. Call for an appointment and any information and documents you need to bring.

Contact Mrs. Taylor Cross with questions/concerns @ (518) 786-4406 or

For a list of all New York CAC/RAPIDS sites, visit

Government Morale Welfare & Recreation (MWR) Resources

John Bone, MWR Program Manager
3569 Galway Rd Ballston Spa, NY 12020
(518) 885-5138 (Ext. 1)

Watervliet Arsenal
Family Morale & Recreation
(518) 266-4829

Fort Hamilton
Army Community Services
(718) 630-4754

Armed Forces Recreation Centers

Armed Forces Recreation Centers are centrally-managed resort hotels operated by the United States Army. These affordable Joint Services morale, welfare, and recreation facilities are located at ideal vacation destinations and offer a full range of resort opportunities for service members, their families, and other members of the total Defense Force. Armed Forces Recreation Center resort hotels are located at Honolulu, Hawaii (Hale Koa Hotel); Orlando, Florida, Shades of Green; Garmisch and Chiemsee, Germany (Armed Forces Recreation Center-Europe); and Seoul, Korea (Dragon Hill Lodge).

Armed Forces Recreation Centers are totally self-supporting using only nonappropriated fund revenues generated internally from operations.

Post/Base Exchanges and Commissaries

For information regarding comissary rules and regulations please visit the Commissary Home page.

The following is a list and phone numbers of Commissaries and Exchanges in New York.

Hancock Field ANGB, Syracuse NY Base Exchange
BX: (315) 233-2440
Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri: 9:00am-5:00pm
Thurs: 9:00am-6:00pm
Sat: 9:00am-3:00pm

Saratoga Springs, New York
Commissary: (518) 581-2180 (View Map)
Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Thurs: 10:00am - 7:00pm
Base Exchange: (518) 584-7426
Mon - Fri: 7:00am - 8:00pm
Sat: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Sun: 12:00pm - 4:00pm

United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
Commissary: (845) 938-3663/2218
Sunday: 10:00am - 5:00pm
Monday: Closed
Tues, Wed, Fri: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Thursday: 10:00am - 8:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Post Exchange: (845) 446-5406/5405
Sunday: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Mon - Sat: 9:00am - 7:00pm
Closed Home Football Saturdays

Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, NY
Commissary: (718) 630-4951
Sunday: 10:00am - 4:00pm
Monday: Closed
Tues, Wed: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Thurs: 11:00 - 8:00pm
Fri: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Post Exchange: (718) 748-3440
Sun and Mon: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Tues - Sat: 10:00am - 7:00pm

Naval Support Unit MWR Ballston Spa, NY
Office: (518) 885-5138 Ext. 1
Tues - Thurs: 6:30am - 6:00pm
Fri 6:30am - 7:00pm
Saturday: 7:00am - 4:00pm
Park (summer):
Mon - Sat: 7:00am - Sunset
Sun & Holidays: 8:00am - Sunset
Park (winter): Only when office is open

Fort Drum, Fort Drum, New York
Commissary: (315) 772-5294
Sunday: 11:00am - 5:00pm
Monday: Closed
Tue, Thr: 10:00 - 8:00pm
Wed: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Fri: 10:00am - 7:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Post Exchange: (315) 773-0061
Sunday: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Mon - Sat: 9:00am - 8:00pm

Watervliet Arsenal, Watervliet, New York Post Exchange:
(518) 273-2424
Sunday: Closed
Mon - Fri: 9:30am - 5:00pm
Saturday: 9:00 - 1:00pm

Niagara Falls Air Force Reserve Base Niagara Falls, New York Base Exchange
(716) 297-3080
Sunday: Closed
Mon - Fri: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Sat: 9:00am - 3:00pm

Coast Guard Station, Buffalo New York Base Exchange
(716) 856-8143
Sunday: Closed
Mon - Fri: 9:00am - 3:00pm
Saturday: 9:00 - 2:00pm

Veterans’ Benefits


Veterans Service Organizations

Insurance Benefit Information

TriCare -- health insurance

for the most up-to-date information, go to: TriCare at OSD
  (... and also see the Health Net links below for forms, etc.)

Service Group Life Insurance - SGLI

For the most up-to-date information, go to:

Veterans Group Life Insurance - VGLI

For the most up-to-date information, go to:

REMINDER: Be sure to update your own and family members' eligibility information in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). Sponsors and family members actually lose access to their TRICARE health care benefits when "loss of eligibility" appears in DEERS; they are unable to make appointments, get prescriptions filled, or have claims processed correctly. Action must be taken by the sponsor and his/her family members to update information in DEERS as well as in their military personnel records. Reserve Component sponsors should visit the nearest ID Card issuing facility and their unit personnel shop to ensure that their DEERS information is current and correct. For additional information about DEERS or to update an address in DEERS, visit

Health Net Federal Services: provides the very latest benefits information. lets you search for a health care provider in your area. lists Tricare Program materials and forms.

Other DOD Health Affairs useful sites:

provides information about DoD health programs.

North Atlantic Regional Medical Command offers some additional regional information

Keller Army Community Hospital, West Point

Guthrie Ambulatory Health Care Clinic, Fort Drum

United Concordia Dental Information

Financial Assistance
© NYS DMNA: New York National Guard Family Benefits
Page Last Modified: 23 Nov 21