For military service members, the American Red Cross is available to 24 hours a day to dispatch emergency notifications if anything were to happen to a loved one. By providing these emergency communications, the Red Cross ensures the service member will be notified promptly if a family member becomes seriously ill, dies or when the service member’s child or grandchild is born. Military commanders rely on these notifications in order to allow the service member to take emergency leave.

Contact the American Red Cross at 1-877-272-7337 if you are an active duty service member stationed in the United States or a family member living in the same household. If you fall into one of these two categories you can contact the Red Cross directly at this number.

Locatedcontact information for your local Red Cross chapter if you do not fall into one of the two above categories, including if you are family of the service member who does not live in the same household, by logging in to the Red Cross website.

Provide the Red Cross with the necessary information about the service member, including name, rank, branch of service, Social Security number or date of birth and any unit or station information you may know. You will also provide the Red Cross with the message to relay to the service member.


  • Per a Department of Defense announcement in 1996, unit commanders do not need American Red Cross notifications to approve emergency leave requests. Commanders should only require Red Cross notifications if they question the validity of a request.