News: What’s in Your Wallet?
By Sgt. Celines Wood
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – The answer should be an EagleCash card. With 230,000 cards currently in circulation, use of EagleCash is steadily increasing. All soldiers in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility are required to have an EagleCash card for two reasons: to promote our soldiers’ financial readiness and to support the theater objective of effective cash management.
The EagleCash card has many advantages. The card gives soldiers and civilians access to personal funds via linked bank accounts and is used as a method of payment for purchases or for money transfers. This service is free to deployed personnel and provides convenient 24-hour access to almost 250 EagleCash kiosks, located throughout theater.
The card is a safer alternative to carrying cash or using personal debit/credit cards, since it reduces the risk of identity theft. If an EagleCash card is lost or stolen, funds may be restored by simply filling out an incident report. Replacing a lost or damaged EagleCash card is quicker than replacing a credit card.
Col. Darrell Brimberry, director of the 18th Financial Management Center here, is a dedicated booster of the EagleCash card.
“Commanders have the strategic responsibility to reduce cash on the battlefield for many reasons,” he said, “and the EagleCash card is a management tool that supports this.”
Brimberry is right. The circulation of U.S. dollars within host nations can devalue local currency when local nationals use U.S. funds instead of their own. Use of the EagleCash card would greatly reduce this effect on a local economy. Additionally, use of the card decreases the costs of handling and managing cash in theater. Greater use of the card may also have a counterterrorist use, by reducing the availability of U.S. dollars in regional markets, and thus making enemy use of American currency more difficult.
Closer to home, Maj. Gen. Kenneth S. Dowd, commanding general of the 1st Theater Sustainment Command here, recently received his EagleCash card. Spc. Karlie Monroe, of Manhattan, Kan., a member of Detachment 2, 368th Financial Management Company, assisted in the issuing process by verifying Dowd’s documents and activating his card.
Pfc. Lorena DeJesus, of Perth Amboy, N.J., a member of the 18th FMC, briefed Dowd on the card’s features and demonstrated the ease of loading funds onto the card at a kiosk.
Dowd said he thought the EagleCash card was very user-friendly.
“I’ll be using my EagleCash card often,” he said. “I recommend its use to everyone in theater.”
To obtain an EagleCash card, service members and eligible civilians may apply at their local finance office. Simply complete Department of Defense Form 2887, the Eagle Cash Enrollment and Authorization Agreement, and provide identification card and bank routing and account numbers to an active checking or savings account.
For more information, visit www.fms.treas.gov/eaglecash/